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Last Will and Testament
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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Will?

A Will is a legal document that determines how your assets are to be dealt with when you pass away.

It tells your Executor how to deal with your assets and how your selected beneficiaries will inherit.

It ensuring that your loved ones are taken care of.

Who can draft a Will?

Any mentally capable person 16 years and older may make a Will.

What happens if I do not make a Will?

Intestate Laws apply if you die without a Will

Without a Will, it is basically left up to the Master of the High Court’s Office and to determine how your Estate will be distributed and this will be done in accordance with Intestate Laws, which may not cater for your wishes.

You will have no say over how your assets are distributed and the process of making your assets (including bank accounts) available to your heirs becomes much slower.

What is an Executor?

An Executor is a person or institution nominated by you in your Will, to administer your estate.

They ensure that the wishes as set out in your Will are executed and the interest of your beneficiaries is protected.

What is a Beneficiary?

A Beneficiary is a person (individual or a group of people) nominated by you in your Will, to receive a benefit from your estate.

What is a Guardian?

A Guardian is a person selected by you, who assumes legal responsibility for a minor child(ren) should you pass away and if there is no available parent or existing Guardian at the time of your passing.

If you fail to nominate a Guardian in your Will, the court will decide who will take care of your minor children.

Nominating of a Guardian is one of the most important provisions to be included in your Will, especially if you have minor children.

Who is a minor?

A minor is a person under the age of 18 years.

What is a Testamentary Children's Trust?

A Testamentary Children’s Trust allows you to specify that the inheritance of your minor beneficiaries is retained in Trust for their benefit, until a specified age.

When your beneficiaries reach this age, the trust will dissolve and any remaining income and / or capital will be paid to them directly.

What is a Trustee?

A Trustee is a person or institution nominated by you in your Will, to administer the assets in the Trust for the benefit of minor Beneficiaries until they reach a specified age.

I am married in Community of Property. How does this affect my estate?

Being married IN community of property means both spouses own the joint estate.

The joint estate refers to all assets AND liabilities.

If you are married IN community of property and you are making a Will, just bear in mind that you may only bequeath 50% of the joint estate in your Will.

When does my Will become valid?

Your Will becomes valid when it is signed by you on every page.

It must also be dated and witnessed by 2 Competent Witnesses at the same time.

What should I do with my Will once it is signed?

Once you have all the signatures needed you should store the ORIGINAL WILL somewhere safe, as the Master of the High Court will need the ORIGINAL WILL.

It can also be a good idea to scan the document and back-it-up on your computer; also keep a hard copy somewhere safe.

Finally, let the right people know where the original is kept.

When should I review my Will?

It is best to regularly update your Last Will and Testament, we recommend at least every 5 years.

Many things change over time and your Will should reflect these changes.  

Sometimes it is necessary to update your Will more than every 5 years.  Some life events that should prompt you updating your Will would be:

  • Just married
  • Just divorced
  • Just had a child
  • New home or other new assets
  • Change to your health
  • The death of a beneficiary mentioned in your Will
  • A change in business relationships

 

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