Get your will sorted

By admin
12 April 2014

It’s important as a mom to ensure one day when you’re gone your children are well taken care of. Many people die before they’ve written a will and testament, and this leads to fights within families which could have been avoided or minimalised if you’d just consulted a lawyer and drafted a will.

It’s important as a mom to ensure one day when you’re gone your children are well taken care of. Many people die before they’ve written a will and testament, and this leads to fights within families which could have been avoided or minimalised if you’d just consulted a lawyer and drafted a will.

James Ekron of the Rhodes University Law Clinic says drafting a will isn’t only simple but easy on the finances. Lawyer’s fees are high when you need to appear in court, something that isn’t necessary when having a will drafted. So what do you need then?

1. Make sure you have all the documents you need to prove ownership of assets

  • Often people claim to own assets but they have no proof of that. People must have title deeds to property for example so they can include these in their wills.
  • If you can’t get a title deed because of affordability you have the option of getting a win deed from your local municipal office at a nominal fee (about R50 or so).

2. Nominate an executor

  • Your executor is the person you’re entrusting to make sure all your assets are distributed as specified in your will. This person should be someone you trust.
  • Avoid appointing more than one executor as this causes conflict and confusion.

3. Be aware of important facts to include

It’s important to specify certain things explicitly otherwise your assets will go to the wrong person. For example, if you want to leave out your spouse, for whatever reason, you need to ensure you specify that, as it’s your right to do that.

4. Have a lawyer draft your will rather than doing it yourself

  • You can draft your own will however it’s not advisable as you’re likely to leave out important details.
  • If you earn less than R10 000 you qualify to have legal assistance from a legal aid clinic which won’t cost you much to draw up a will so don’t avoid drawing one up out of fear for the dent in your pocket.

5. Sign your will in front of a commissioner of oaths

  • Many illiterate people sign their wills with an “X”. This won’t hold up in court unless it was signed in front of a commissioner of oaths who can verify the “X” belongs to you.
  • If you have an illiterate friend help them with this so their children aren’t left out in the cold.

6. Sign every single page

If you don’t sign every page of your will there’s a chance the validity will be questioned in court and it will be deemed void (as if it never existed).

7. Make sure you include all your immovable property as well as your movable property

If you don’t include all your assets those that weren’t included will be divided as if you died without a will (intestate).

8. Include your beneficiaries’ full names and if possible their ID numbers as well

This will ensure your property doesn’t go to the wrong person.

Remember

If you die without a will your spouse automatically has 50 per cent rights to your assets. This can be a problem because even if you’re separated your spouse will inherit your assets as the courts won’t recognise the separation.

-Shandukani Mulaudzi 

Find Love!

Men
Women