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The importance of a Will

WHY SHOULD I HAVE A WILL?

Drafting of a Last Will and Testament allows a person to give an instruction on how they wish for their Estate to devolve upon their demise. It gives them an opportunity to eliminate any disputes that may arise amongst the family and avoids unnecessary delays which may be caused by parties with an interest not wanting to comply with the Master’s directions, consequently delaying the process.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DIE WITHOUT A WILL?

Your Estate will be administered in terms of the Intestate Succession Act 81 of 1987. This means that the beneficiaries in order of preference are:
– The spouse of the deceased
– The descendants of the deceased
– The parents of the deceased (Only if the deceased died without surviving spouse or descendants)
– The siblings of the deceased (Only if one or both parents are predeceased).

The Intestate Succession Act should be read in such a way that it can accommodate cases where the deceased was a husband in a polygamous customary union:
– When the deceased left only spouses and no descendants, the wives will inherit the estate in equal shares.
– When the deceased left spouses and descendants, the spouses and descendants will inherit the estate in equal shares, but:
– Each wife should inherit at least R 250 000
– When the estate is not large enough to allow each wife to inherit
– R250 000, the spouses will inherit the estate in equal shares while the descendants will not receive anything.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR A VALID WILL?

(1) The Will should either be handwritten, typed, or printed; and
(2) The Testator/Testatrix’ signature should appear on all pages of the Will, together with those of two competent witnesses(14years and above); and
(3) The will should be dated.

With so much death around us it is more important than ever that a person should draft a Last Will and Testament and get their affairs in order so as not to burden their family with this.

REMEMBER TOMORROW IS NOT PROMISED.

(Thanks to Thabani Mnculwani from our Durban estates department).
Contact us on 087 021 0123 for your new Will – Sandton, Bluff or Amanzimtoti offices.
www.maclaw.co.za

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