Why everyone must have a will

NATIONAL Wills Week, an initiative of the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA), will take place next week, from 26 to 30 October 2020. During this week participating attorneys will be drafting free wills nationwide.

By making a will you ensure that your assets are disposed of in accordance with your wishes after your death.

Why should an attorney draft your will?
Attorneys are professionals qualified in law. An attorney can advise you on any problem which may arise with regard to your will. An attorney has the necessary knowledge and expertise to ensure that your will is valid and complies with your wishes.

Often a will is not valid because the person who drafts it does not have the necessary legal knowledge to ensure that the requirements of the law are met.

If you die without leaving a valid will, your assets will be distributed according to the provisions of the Intestate Succession Act. The provisions of this Act are generally fair and ensure that your possessions are transferred to your spouse and children.

The following problems however may arise if you die without a will:
• Your assets may not be left to the person of your choice.

• It can take a long time to have an executor appointed. The executor who is appointed may be somebody you may not have chosen yourself.

• There can be extra and unnecessary costs.

• There can be unhappiness and conflict among members of your family because there are no clear instructions on how to distribute your assets.
(Source: Law Society of South Africa)