A Will is a written document whereby a person is able to stipulate how and to whom the valuable things in their estate is to be distributed upon their death. For a lot of people, the most valuable thing in their estate is a house. In terms of a Will, a person would state in writing what should happen to the house when they die. Other valuable things in a person’s estate could also include motor vehicles, cash, jewellery, company shares or business interests. A properly drafted Will minimises the risk of family disputes as it clearly states how a person’s estate should be distributed. If a person dies without a Will, their estate is distributed in terms of the Intestate Succession Act (ISA). Without a Will, the heirs cannot decide how the estate should be distributed, it must be in accordance with the ISA. This means that the estate will usually be distributed to the surviving spouse and children of the deceased in equal shares.
There are a few formalities required for a Will to be valid. First, the Will must be in writing signed and dated by the person whose Will it is, known as the testator. Second, the Will must be signed in the presence of 2 people as witnesses. The witnesses must be over the age of 14 and must not benefit from the Will. At Siyatec, we can assist you with the drafting of your Will. All you need to do is complete our short Wills Online Consultation!
We then draft the Will for you, and accommodate any questions or special provisions either by telephone consultation or email. In most cases, people would deal with their estate generally, for example: they would leave the entire estate to their spouse when they die or they will leave it to their children. Sometimes it is also appropriate to specify if there are certain assets that should be given to a particular person. Our Wills Online Consultation makes provision for you to stipulate these special requirements.
One of the most important provisions of your Will should stipulate who the Executor of your estate will be. You can stipulate any person to be the Executor, however when your estate needs to be wound up you will need to have a legally qualified person to assist the Executor if the Executor themselves are not such qualified persons. The cost of winding up an estate is the major pitfall of many estates. Institutions will often draw up your Will at no cost and nominate themselves as the Executors in the Will. Then upon your death, these institutions charge your family an exorbitant 3.5% of your total assets as a fee. At Siyatec we charge affordable Flat Rate Fees. Should you wish Siyatec to be your Executors we will draft your Will at no charge. You may not want to appoint us as the Executors, in this case we charge a fee of R 650 to assist you with your Will. Exactly the same process will apply.
Once the Will is drafted and properly signed there are no other formalities. You will have a properly completed and legally valid Will.