Draw up a will free of charge

2016-09-07 06:00

THE Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) encourages members of the public to seize the opportunity to have a legal will drafted free of charge during the National Wills Week, from 12 to 16 September.

Attorneys participating in the Wills Week initiative will display posters with their contact details so that members of the public can make appointments with such attorneys in their area.

During this period, attorneys will help interested members of the public draft a will free of charge.

A will is the legal document that permits a person, the testator, to make decisions on how his estate will be managed and distributed after his death.

Attorneys’ firms throughout the country are participating in the National Wills Week project.

“A valid will allows you to state who should inherit your assets and property, to appoint an executor of your choice for your estate and also a guardian for your minor children.

“By ensuring that you have a valid will, you can protect the interests of your loved ones and ensure that your executor will act according to your wishes as set out in your will,” says Jan van Rensburg and Mvuso Notyesi, LSSA co-chairpersons.

Persons who have recently been married, divorced or widowed, or those who have been cohabitating with their partners for some time, should also consider having a will drafted.

If you have been cohabitating with your partner, it is advisable to have a will to ensure that there are not competing claims on your estate.

Similarly, unmarried persons, particularly those who may have a number of people that depend on them financially, should ensure they have a will in place, as several people could make a claim on their estates.

Documents required to have a will drafted include an identity document and a list of what you own (including specific personal items that you wish to bequeath to specific people).

Also to consider are the following: who must get what, who should be the legal guardians of your minor children (those under 18) and who should be the executor of your will.

This could be your attorney or a close family member or friend.

If you decide on a family member or friend, it is advisable also to nominate the attorney as co-executor, as the attorney will deal with any legal issues.

The contact details of all participating attorneys can be accessed on the LSSA website at www.lssa.org.za.

In the Free State, call the Law Society of the Free State on 051-447-3237.

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