Planning for your future?  Here is what you need to know. | Legal Articles


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Planning for your future?  Here is what you need to know.

We all get caught up with the high demands of family life and work, so it is easy to forget about taking care of your estate and will. However, this is arguably the most important thing to take care of while you are still alive. 

You have probably asked yourself if you need a will, but before we can help you answer that, you need to understand what a will is.

What is a will?

A will is a document drawn up by you to determine where your assets will go in case of death. It has to be signed by you and two witnesses before giving it to your estate executor; which is the person handling your affairs after death, making sure everything runs smoothly.

Let’s say you are a 35-year-old married man or woman, and you own a fully furnished house, a car, a small business, and you have two kids. 

If something happens to you and you die without a will, the Master of the High Court will appoint an executor to handle the winding up of your estate. And the appointed executor might give your assets to the wrong beneficiaries.

When drawing up your will, keep the following in mind:

  • You have to be 16 years or older in order to draft your will.
  • Your will needs to be signed by you and two witnesses in order to be deemed as valid.
  • The witnesses who sign your last will and testament will have to be older than 14 years of age because he or she should be able to testify in court.
  • According to the Wills Act 7, you need to sign at the end of the document and if there is more than one page, the other pages need to be signed as well.
  • Anybody who stands to gain from the will cannot have anything to do with drawing up a will, or it will be deemed as invalid.
  • If you have minor children, in the event that you and your partner die simultaneously, it is best to appoint a guardian to your children to make sure they are taken care of.
  • Special request can be made on the will.

Van Deventer and Van Deventer | Estate Attorneys in Johannesburg

Getting your will and estate in order is something that can seem overwhelming to many people. The good news is you don’t have to do it alone.

At Van Deventer and Van Deventer Incorporated, we care about our clients and offer assistance in the drawing up and safe keeping of your will, estate planning, and setting up of trusts.


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