Free wills this week

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National Wills Week is an initiative to get South Africans to get qualified lawyers to draw up their will. Attorneys throughout the country will be drafting free basic wills for the public.

Why are wills so important?

  • They name your executor. Your executor can be someone or  institution that will manage your assets and pay off any debts you might have.
  • They distribute your estate.
  • They provide for surviving minor children and also nominates a guardian for them.
  • They state any specific funeral plans you’d like to be done.

What happens when you die and don’t leave a will?

Your closest relatives will inherit your belongings, according to the Intestate Succession Act if you pass on without leaving a valid will your possessions will go to your spouse and children.

The table below shows how your estate will be distributed:

Deceased is Survived by

How the Estate is Divided

Only surviving spouse Total Estate goes to the spouse
Only descendants Total Estate is divided between descendants
Spouse and descendants The spouse gets a child’s share (R125 000), and the balance is divided equally between the descendants
Spouse and descendants Total Estate is divided equally between both parents
Spouse and descendants Total Estate goes to the parent
Spouse and descendants Half the Estate goes to the parent; balance is divided equally amongst descendants
No spouse, No descendants, No parents, but descendants through mother & descendants through father Estate divided into two parts: Half to descendants through mother Half to descendants through father
No spouse, No descendants, No parents, No descendants through mother or father Estate goes equally to Blood Relatives that are nearest in degree of relationship

 

You can find participating attorney on the LSSA website.

All that is required from you is a copy of your ID, a list of your assets and the approximate values. Make sure you know exactly who should get what and mention how everything must be executed.

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