Benefits of a Will
A Will allows you to:
- Planning of Wills
- Drafting of Wills
- Applications via e-mail
- Safe custody of signed Wills
- General information and advice relating to Wills
- Online application and processing (soon to come)
What happens if I don't have a Will?
- Provide for assets to be safeguarded for heirs.
- Arrange for your assets to be managed by a competent person on behalf of minor beneficiaries until such time as they are old enough to deal with the assets themselves.
- Request whether to be buried or cremated and your last wishes regarding the ceremony.
- Donate your body or certain organs for medical purposes.
- Ensure that family heirlooms remain in the family.
- Ensure the cost effective administration of your estate.
- Impose certain special conditions to apply to your bequests.
- Plan to minimise any tax liability.
Without a Will your assets will be divided and distributed according to the law of Intestate Succession.
In short, this means that:
Planning a Will
- The Master of the High Court appoints an executor.
- Your assets will be divided between your spouse and children (or other blood relatives) according to the Intestate Act.
- The minor children’s inheritance will be in control of the Guardians Fund.
- The law of Intestate Succession may not recognize your ‘common-law’ spouse if no Will specifies otherwise.
Your Will should provide for the following:
Signing a Will
- If the husband (testator) is the first-dying.
- If the wife (testatrix) is the first-dying.
- If the survivor dies without having made another Will.
- If both the husband and wife die simultaneously.
- If there is obliteration of the family.
- If a beneficiary (child) is still a minor, to retain the bequest/inheritance in trust.
- If a child is still minor, to consider nominating a guardian.
The signing of your Will is the most important step in validating a Will.
The following guidelines must be followed:
Click here to download instructions for signing your Will
- Two impartial witnesses are required during the signing of your Will. These witnesses must be over the age of 14 and be mentally competent to understand what they are doing, but is it preferable to use adults as witnesses.
- Both witnesses must be present when the Will is signed.
- The Will must be signed in full on the last page as well as at the bottom of every preceding page.
- If you are only able to sign your name via the making of a mark, it must be made before a Commissioner of Oaths who cannot sign as a witness as well. Two competent persons still have to sign as witnesses. In these cases, please contact us for the correct procedure.
- It is also advisable that the witnesses sign all pages in your presence and the presence of one another. The two witnesses must sign the Will in full at the end in the space provided for their signatures in your presence and in the presence of each other.
- Any person nominated in a Will to receive any benefit, as well as the Executor, Trustee and Guardian, and including such a person’s spouse, cannot sign as a witness as this would disqualify them from receiving the specified benefit or hold the nominated position.
- Any deletion, addition, alteration or interlineation must be validated with signatures by you and two witnesses.