Making a will is usually a straightforward matter and leaves you with the peace of mind and knowledge that your loved ones are looked after and your assets are divided in accordance with your wishes, after your death.
What is a will?
A will is a legal document setting out directions on how the property of the person making the will (the “Testator”) shall be distributed upon his or her death
Who can make a will?
In order to make a will one must be aged at least 18 years and be of sound mind.
I have not made a will. What happens to my property if I die?
If you die without having made a will, you are said to have died intestate and your property is divided in accordance with the rules of intestacy as set out in the Succession Act, 1965. The rules must be applied strictly regardless of the needs or financial circumstances of your next of kin. This can mean that adequate provision is not made for certain loved ones and that your property is not divided in accordance with your wishes.
I am the parent of young children, is it important for me to make a will?
It is VITAL that you make a will if you have any children under 18 or if you have any long term dependents. Making a will allows you to appoint a testamentary guardian to care for your children after your death ensuring that custody of your children isgranted to the individuals you prefer.
I made a will several years ago, can I change it now?
Yes, you can make a new will as often as you like. In fact, it is a good idea to review your will on a regular basis to cater for any changes in your or potential beneficiaries circumstances.
If I leave my property to someone in a will am I then precluded from selling it?
No, your will only takes effect on your death. Your property remains yours to do what you wish with it during your lifetime.
Does remarriage or divorce affect my will?
A marriage will revoke any will previously made whereas a divorce will not revoke any will previously made. In both situations testamentary arrangements should be reviewed.