National Wills Week will run from 16 to 20
September 2019. This initiative aims to
encourage members of the public to consult
an attorney to have a basic Will drafted.
Our staff at Tums 2 Tots Online had the opportunity to have Wills drafted absolutely for free. And you can too with Make A Will.
Make A Will believes in making legal services easy. With 70% of the South African population not having a Will, the ramifications are enormous. Many people will pass away leaving their families, in particular their children, in a very uncomfortable position and potentially facing financial ruin.
What is the process like?
The experience was efficient and very convenient (and did we mention free?) It takes less than an hour with a qualified consultant. You just complete the online booking form. An appointment is made for a day and time of your choosing, and at a place that is most convenient for you. This could be your home, workplace or even a local coffee shop.
The consultant will take your instructions and draft your free Will. Depending on your requirements this can take between 20 and 40 minutes (considering the risks of not having a Will, this really isn’t much). During this time the consultant will be able to answer any questions you may have. Within days you will receive your Will by email, along with instructions detailing what to do next
The consultant also talks to you about the financial aspect of winding up your estate. Estate duties, conveyancing costs, trustees’ fees and other legal fees can amount to hundreds of thousands of Rands, which many people simply cannot afford. Capital Legacy offers an optional range of low-cost Legacy Protection PlansTM that cover the cost of winding up your estate. (Take it from us, the cost is nominal!)
The Make A Will service not only caters for first timers, but for a wide range of requirements including:
- Revoking all former Wills (that no longer fit your requirements)
- Appoint executors and trustees who will ensure that your wishes are carried out to the letter
- Ability to gift sums of money
- Option to gift items like family heirlooms e.g. jewellery
- Ability to deal with your property – ensuring that your house should not be sold upon your death
- Appoint guardians for children you may have
- Set up a testamentary trust to regulate maintenance for any minor children and a surviving spouse
- Nominate who will receive the rest of your estate – anything from furniture to ornaments
Why should I draft a Will?
If you die without a Will, the Master of the High Court will be involved in the distribution of your estate. This will be done in accordance with the laws Intestate succession. This may not be how you wish your estate to be divided. For instance, persons you would have preferred not inherit from you could do so. Additionally, those you would like to leave something might inherit nothing.
- There is a big risk that your home could be sold to cover thousands of Rands worth of lawyer/executor/trustee fees
- There could be years’ worth of delays before your family, particularly children, receive the full benefit of your estate
- Your children may not have the guardian you would have chosen
When should I draft my last Will and Testament?
Any person aged 16 or more is competent to make a Will if they have the mental ability to understand the nature and effect of the act of making a Will.
If you fail to make your will before you lose your mental capacity to do so or before you die, you will ‘die intestate’ (i.e. without a Will). This means that all the assets that form part of your estate at the time of your death will go to those family members and relatives – and in such percentages or amounts – as is determined by the intestate succession laws (i.e. The Intestate Succession Act No. 81 of 1987).
As we can’t see into the future it is important to make your Will as soon as possible. You could be involved in an accident that leaves you mentally disabled or cause your death. If you’ve not made your Will before then, those dearest to you might be left in a financial position you never intended. In South Africa we have ‘freedom of testation’, so you would be free to leave your assets to whomever you wish, even to your pet, so long as a provision is not unlawful, too vague, against good morals or impossible to perform.
With a Will you can regulate not only how your assets are to be dealt with, who is to get it and when they should get it, but also who is to ensure that your testamentary wishes are carried out. Your last Will and testament is therefore one of the most important documents you will ever make. It will have a lasting effect on those you leave behind. So, there is never a better time to make your Will than right now.
Can I update my Will?
Once you’ve made your Will you should reconsider it regularly. This way it will continue to provide for those around you according to your wishes as your circumstances change. Once you’ve used the service Make A Will will update your Will for free too!
Most people’s circumstances change over time. Therefore, a Will is something that should also be updated in line with those changes – a bit like buying bigger clothes for your child as they grow up.
These are a few major life events when most people would look to updating their Will:
- Change of marital status
- You sell anything that is left as a gift in your Will
- You buy something and want to leave it as a gift in your Will
- Adoption or birth of additional children
- Loss of a child or children
- If you move to a new country (you are likely to need a totally new Will in your new country of residence)
- Change of appointed guardian for your children
- Change of your executors need to be changed
- If you change your mind about the instructions contained in your Will
Your Will is valid until you make a new Will (thereby ‘revoking’ the old Will). It is also possible to make a codicil (a separate legal document making minor alterations to your Will without the need to draft a completely new Will). Your Will can also be revoked by destroying it.
Life is uncertain, draft your Will for free TODAY. It takes less than an hour to ensure the lives of your loved ones left behind are secure.
Disclaimer: This article has been prepared for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice, or a legal opinion. The practical application of the provisions of this article will vary depending on the facts of each case. The publication, author of the article and companies or individuals providing commentary cannot be held liable in any way.
Have a look at another interesting article on legal matters here.