Having a will is the right of every South African who wishes to leave something behind after they pass away.
Anyone who has assets, and who wishes to lessen the burden on their loved ones, is advised to draw up a will.
Certified financial planner at Core Wealth Kirsty Scully explains the importance of having an up-to-date will.
Sadly, I regularly come across people who do not have a will. many young couples believe that it is too early to plan for one’s death and delay preparing a Will – sometimes until it is too late. As far as I am concerned, you are never too young, too poor or too busy to prepare a Will.— Kirsty Scully, Certified financial planner - Core Wealth
So, what will happen if someone dies without a will?
If you do not have a valid will you will be known as dying ‘intestate’ and your estate will be frozen until appropriate documents have been obtained to authorise your relatives to deal with your estate. So that means, for example, in the case of a husband and wife, if the husband dies without a will, the wife will be left with not being able to access any of his money until the estate is finalised. And that could be really tough especially if she is trying to look after children.— Kirsty Scully, Certified financial planner - Core Wealth
Scully says another reason why it is good to have a will is that you can choose who is the executor of your estate.
The Executor transfers the assets of the estate to the beneficiaries, pays all outstanding debts, collects all outstanding money’s owed to the estate and dispatches the final liquidation and distribution accounts to the Master of the Supreme Court for final approval.— Kirsty Scully, Certified financial planner - Core Wealth
It's important to remember that a will must meet certain requirements in order to be valid.
1. The testator (that’s the person whose estate it is) must sign all the pages of the will.
The testator must be at least 16 years old.
There must be two witnesses of the will who must sign it.
The witnesses must be at least 14 years old and must be able to read and write.
The testator and witnesses must sign any changes that are made on the will.
- No person that signs the will may inherit from that will, neither can the executor sign the will.
Listen to the full interview below: