You can have a legally valid will drawn up for free next week

Saturday Star - - INSIGHT -

next week (September 11 to 15). Law firms through­out the coun­try will par­tic­i­pate in Na­tional Wills Week.

Hav­ing a valid will can pro­tect the in­ter­ests of your loved ones, and en­sure there will not be a de­lay in set­tling your es­tate af­ter your death, say Law So­ci­ety of South Africa co-chair­per­sons David Bekker and Walid Brown.

“It also en­sures that your ex­ecu­tor will act ac­cord­ing to your wishes, as set out in your will. 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 a guardian for your mi­nor chil­dren,” Bekker and Brown say.

Next week, par­tic­i­pat­ing at­tor­neys will dis­play posters with their con­tact de­tails so that you can make an ap­point­ment with one in your area. The con­tact de­tails and ad­dresses of all par­tic­i­pat­ing at­tor­neys are on the Law So­ci­ety’s web­site, www.lssa.org.za.

• Why should an at­tor­ney draft your will?

An at­tor­ney has the knowl­edge and ex­per­tise to en­sure that your will com­plies with your wishes and that it is valid, be­cause it com­plies with the Wills Act, the Law So­ci­ety says.

Of­ten, a will is not valid be­cause it does not meet all the re­quire­ments of the Wills Act. Th­ese in­clude that the will must be in writ­ing, signed by the tes­ta­tor in the pres­ence of at least two com­pe­tent wit­nesses, and signed by the wit­nesses.

An at­tor­ney can ad­vise you on any prob­lems that may arise with your will and as­sist your ex­ecu­tor.

• What hap­pens if you die with­out a valid will?

If you die with­out leav­ing a valid will, your as­sets will be dis­trib­uted ac­cord­ing to the pro­vi­sions of the In­tes­tate Succession Act. Th­ese pro­vi­sions are gen­er­ally fair and en­sure that your pos­ses­sions are trans­ferred to your spouse and chil­dren, and, where ap­pli­ca­ble, to your sib­lings and par­ents, and, if re­quired, to

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