dead estate law south africa

wills

On Friday, we looked at the basic requirements of Wills.

Today; we will look at some of the content of a will.

Anybody can draft a will. It need not be an attorney or lawyer; but only attorneys may advertise the fact that they draft wills draft people, as per the provisions of the Attorneys Act.

The full names and identity of the testator or testatrix must appear in the will and they must sign same in full as we sated in our last blog. Use your Id number and your address to properly identify yourself.

There are also some important clauses that should be in a will.

  1. You should appoint an Executor and Administrator who will be responsible for winding up your Estate, making sure that every bequest is made correctly and will also have to both report the Estate to the Master of the High Court, advertise for debtors and creditors of the Estate; and also lodge proof of his/her accounting for the Estate to the Master in the form of a liquidation and Distribution Account.
  2. You should clearly set out your bequests ie what each beneficiary is to receive for the Estate and clearly identify each beneficiary by name, Id number and address; so that there cannot be any confusion as to who is to get what.
  3. If there are minor beneficiaries you will have to appoint a Trustee and create a Testamentary Trust settling out all the trustees’ powers and duties. This can be complicated and you will need professional help in this regard.
  4. You should also in your will cancel and annul all previous wills, codicils and other testamentary dispositions so that there is no doubt that this is your last will and testament and replaces all prior wills.
  5. No beneficiary, Executor, Administrator or Trustee should be a witness to your will so as to prevent the Master from disqualifying them from their position.
  6. Your witnesses should preferably be persons not mentioned in your will at all.
  7. Remember the golden rule. You and your witnesses when signing the will must all be present at the same time and must all sign each page of the will in full. If you do not do so; the will may not be accepted by the Master and you will effectively have no will and will die intestate ie without a valid will.

As we normally do; we reiterate that if you are wanting to draft a will; it is always wise to first get proper, professional legal advice before you do anything else. You need to know exactly what you need to do to ensure your will is going be accepted as a valid will by the Master of the High Court.

If you have a query regarding a will; please contact us at The Legal Advice Office direct and/or our legal consultant, Hugh, as soon as possible for obtaining proper, professional legal advice.

About our author:

Hugh Pollard (Legal Consultant), has a BA LLB and 41 years’ experience in the legal field. 22 years as a practicing attorney and conveyancer; and 19 years as a Legal Consultant.

082-0932304 (Hugh’s Cell Number)

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www.legaladviceoffice.co.za

Thank you.

The Legal Advice Office Team.

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