National Wills Week

National Wills week will run from 14th to 18th September 2015

During National Wills Week from 14 to 18 September, there are a number of attorney practices in all nine provinces in South Africa participating in a national initiative to draft basic Wills at no cost. Unfortunately no St Francis or Humansdorp attorneys are participating but there are several options available in Jeffreys Bay. For a list of the Jeffreys Bay participating scroll to the bottom of this page.

Basic wills will be drawn up free of charge.

  • Attorneys should provide an explanation of the importance of having a properly and professionally drafted will to the client.
  • Attorneys may not insist that they are appointed as the executor of the estate.
  • Attorneys must give the client a copy of his/her will.
  • Interviews with clients can be conducted at the attorney’s offices.
  • Attorneys will not be expected to redraft or amend existing wills for free, nor will they be expected to draft complex wills involving trusts, etc.
  • Parastatals, companies, municipalities or public libraries wishing to arrange special will-drafting services for their members/staff will be given the list of participating firms in their areas.

FOR THE PUBLIC

Why must you have a will?
By making a will you ensure that your assets are disposed of in accordance with your wishes after your death. This privilege is called “freedom of testation”.

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.

What happens to your estate if you die without a valid will?
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.
BUT, the following problems may arise if you die without leaving 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.

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