'A valid will allows you, as the testator, to decide who should inherit your assets and property in the event of your death. It allows you to appoint an executor of your choice for your estate and also a guardian for your minor children,' say Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) Co-Chairpersons Jan Stemmett and Krish Govender.
An attorney has the necessary knowledge and expertise to ensure that your will is valid by complying with all the legal requirements in the Wills Act and also that it complies with your wishes. An attorney can also advise you on any problem which may arise with your will and assist your executor. Often a will is not valid because the person who drafts it does not have the necessary legal knowledge to ensure that the requirements of the Wills Act are met.
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 siblings, parents, and if required, then to the extended family in terms of degrees of relationships.
During Wills Week from 17 to 21 September 2012, attorneys participating in the National Wills Week initiative will draft new, basic wills for members of the public for free. Attorneys will not amend or redraft existing wills.
Alternatively, for attorneys in KwaZulu-Natal call the KwaZulu-Natal Law Society at (033) 345 1304. Law Society of South Africa - (012) 366 8800.