DRAFTING OF WILLS
DRAFTING A LEGALLY BINDING WILL IN SOUTH AFRICA
It is of vital importance that your will is drafted in such a manner that it valid, binding and enforceable. The Act sets out certain requirements for a valid will.
To ensure that the beneficiaries in your will is in accordance with your wishes, it is of vital importance to draft and amend your will annually. Your original will and testament will be archived and kept safe and a friendly staff member will contact you annually to enquire whether you require any changes to your existing will.
If you do not have a valid testament when you die, everything that remains after all debts and administrative costs have been deducted, will be inherited through the laws of succession by your qualified beneficiaries. All the assets in your deceased estate will be distributed by the Intestate Succession Act 81 of 1987. To ensure that this does not happen, contact one of our team of experts at Burger Huyser Attorneys in Johannesburg to draft a will for you.
INSIST ON DEALING WITH LAWYERS THAT UNDERSTAND THE REQUIREMENTS WHEN DRAFTING A WILL
There are formalities and requirements in place when drafting a will to avoid the possibility of impersonations and fraud. If these requirements are not met you testament will be invalid and not enforceable. There are also limitations to the freedom of testation. You cannot, for instance, have a will to be exercised against good morals, a will that is unlawful, too vague or impossible to perform.
Minor children need to be maintained and they would thus have a common law claim for maintenance against the will. It is highly advisable that we create a trust for your minor children which will be an annexure to your will. The trust will stipulate how your assets are to be divided amongst your children, at what age they are to receive these assets, who will act as guardians to your children in the event of single parents or simultaneous death of both parents and who will act as trustees.
It is therefore imperative that you have your will drafted by someone who knows the law and who are familiar with freedom of testation limitations. Section 2 (1)(a) of the Wills Act 7 of 1953 contains the requirements for drafting a valid will as the slightest oversight may result in an invalid will.