A Will helps your family when you are no longer there to provide for them. Any person 16 years of age and sound mind can draw up a Will. To ensure your final wishes are carried out correctly your Will must be clear, unambiguous and meet the requirements of a valid Will.
If you die without a Will you are said to die” intestate” and the rules of intestate succession will determine who gets your assets left behind. The state will divide your estate fairly, but this will take time and cost money. You can speak to a financial adviser, lawyer or banker to set up your Will. Choose a person or institution you trust and can afford.
Below are essential clauses for your Will to be effective:
This clause will revoke all previous Wills and Testamentary documents (make all previous Wills and Testaments documents no longer valid). If your Will doesn’t have a revocation clause, you could end up with more than one valid Will and the two Wills would have to be interpreted at the same time– a situation that could lead to a nightmare for your executor.
This nominates your executor, the person who has certain powers to manage the estate. If you don’t nominate an executor then one is appointed by the Master of the High Court to deal with your estate. This will delay the winding up of your estate. The Master will consider applications from your family, but may include a requirement that the appointed Executor is assisted by an agent.
This clause states how your estate is distributed after all your debts have been settled.
In addition to the essential clauses, your Will can have additional clauses customised to your specific circumstances and needs such as:
The winding up of your estate will have various costs:
Other factors to consider when drawing up your Will:
Remember to update your Will regularly in line with the changing circumstances of your life, such as marriage and births of children. Also remember that your death benefit from your retirement fund is by law excluded from your Will. Keep your Will in a safe place.