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The importance of having a Will
06 May 2020  | Charné Barnes

Most people never consider writing a Will, assuming that everything they have earned will automatically be left to the obvious intended beneficiary, when they pass away, however this is not the case.

If you pass without leaving a valid Will, your assests  will be distributed according to the Intestate Succession Act 81 of 1987.

Writing a Will give you the opportunity to express you last wishes and ensure that your belongings will be divided amongst your chosen beneficiaries.

The benefits of having a Valid Will is that it accelerates your estates administration process because you had the opportunity to decide on who you will appoint as your executor. In the event that there is no Valid Will the Master of the High Court has to appoint an Executor which could take months. In cases where there is no Valid Will the Family members of the Deceased are left without critical income.

Wills limit family disputes, as family arguments over your estate is avoided. Wills may be contested if there is valid reason to believe that the Will is invalid, however the party who wishes to contest the Will has to have a very good reason eg, the deceased was not of a sound mind or unduly influenced by a third party.

Wills state clearly your preference, as it can indicate how you want your assests to be used. This is not legally binding however it makes your loved ones aware of your final wishes.

A will affords you the opportunity to stating who you will be looking after your Children after your passing. This eliminates the risk with regards to the State determining who will be responsible to look after your Children. It affords you the opportunity to make provision in cases where your children are unable to manage their inheritance. In such cases the Will can insist that the assets be placed into a trust that can either limit the beneficiaries access until they are of a certain age or distribute the money over a certain period of time.

If you pass without a Will your assets will be distributed to your surviving blood relatives in terms of the Intestate Succession Act, without your final wishes being known, so drafting a Will would be in best interest of those left behind. 

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