Having a will is something that is often taken for granted by many people. This often leads to unnecessary financial complications and family squabbles.
What is a will and why should you have one?
“A valid will allows you to state who should inherit your assets and property, to appoint an executor of your choice for your estate and also a guardian for your minor children,” say Law Society of South Africa Co-Chairpersons, Jan van Rensburg and Mvuso Notyesi.
If you die without leaving a valid will, your assets will be distributed according to the provisions of the interstate Succession Act. The provisions of this Act are generally fair and ensure that your possessions are transferred to your spouse and children.
By having a will, you will be able to leave clear instructions on how your estate should be handled and who should be in charge of ensuring that your instructions are fulfilled.
Even though there may be easy ways available online on how to draw up a will, it’s often better to consult a professional. An attorney can advise you on any problem which may arise with regard to your will. A legal professional can guide you through the entire process of drawing a will up. He/she may also be able to alert you to possible loopholes in your will and they should be able to advise you and draft a will that is suitable to your unique needs.
The Law Society of South Africa advises:
“By making a will you ensure that your assets are disposed of in accordance with your wishes for your death.”
“If you have been cohabitating with your partner, it is advisable to have a will to ensure that there are not competing claims on your estate.”