In 2007 the Law Society of South Africa started the Initiative known as “National Wills Week” which aims at giving all people in South Africa access to having a professionally drafted will, regardless of their financial means. This incredible program was started due to the importance of having a valid will at the time of your death. Of course, you are more than entitled to draft your own will, however, there are certain requirements, as set out in the Wills Act, Act 7 of 1953, which need to be complied with in order for the will to be valid and enforceable. It is therefore highly recommended that your will be drafted by a professional who has sufficient knowledge of all of the formalities required.
Why should an attorney draft your will?
Attorneys are professional people who are qualified in Law and therefore have the necessary knowledge and expertise to ensure that your will is valid and, of course, complies with your wishes.
What happens to your estate if you die without a valid will?
Unfortunately, if you die without a will, or with an invalid will, your assets will be distributed according to the provisions of the Intestate Succession Act, Act 81 of 1987. Although the provisions of this act are generally fair the following problems may arise:
- Your assets may not be left to the person of your choice;
- It may take a long time to have an executor appointed. The Executor may also not be somebody that you would have chosen;
- There may be extra and unnecessary costs;
- There can be unhappiness and conflict among members of your family;
The following are just a few of the benefits of having a valid will in place:
- You decide how your estate will be distributed;
- Establishment of Testamentary trusts for the benefit of minors and heirs;
- You decide who will take care of your minor child/children;
- Avoid a delay in winding up the estate;
- Minimize estate taxes;
- You get to nominate the Executor of your estate;
- And ….because tomorrow is not promised!
We are happy to advise you that once again, C&A Friedlander Attorneys Inc is partaking in this beneficial initiative. We will therefore be offering to draft a basic will, free of charge, which complies with the requirements of the Wills Act. Due to the limited time frame, booking a consultation, as soon as possible, is essential! Please email me at Storme@caf.co.za in order to avoid disappointment.
Contact your legal advisor for more information.
Storme Heath is a director in the Noordhoek office of C&A Friedlander Inc.
Storme specialises in Conveyancing & Property Law, Notarial Practise and Wills, Trusts and Estates.
“Everyone gets organized at some point, they just might not be around for it “– Sue de Roos
This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)