The importance of putting wishes in a Will can never be overemphasised. Amongst many other benefits, it provides for an easy and clear process of devolution of the estate of the deceased with less or without disputes.
Unless it is proved that the Testator lacked capacity, was under coercion or undue influence at the time when the Will was executed, the golden rule is that the wishes of the Testator ought to be given effect to and this is a principle which the Courts will only divert from under exceptional circumstances.
This article will respond to some of the prominent queries that we receive from our clients with regards to Wills, so as to give a general guidance. Our astute Estates Department Attorneys are available to assist comprehensively in the drafting of Wills, challenging the validity of a Will, administration of a deceased estate, getting Letters of Executorship or Authority and many other matters relating to deceased estates.
Persons of 16 years of age and older can execute a will, provided that they have the capacity to appreciate the consequences of their actions e.g mentally ill persons do not have such capacity.
A person who is 14 years of age and above may act as a witness in a Will. However, such person may not be a beneficiary in that Will (subject to exclusions, kindly consult with us for comprehensive guidance). The witness and their spouse may also not be the Executor appointed in that Will.
Besides assisting with drafting a Will, we can also keep your Original Will at an affordable fee in the event that you opt to do so. Attorneys and other institutions such as banks, also keep Wills for their clients. One may also keep their own Will in a safe place.
In such case the Testator may either sign with a mark, or ask someone to sign on their behalf. In both these instances, the Commissioner of Oaths must be present and certify that the identity of the Testator is indeed correct and that the Will is that of the Testator. The Commissioner of Oaths must also sign every page of such Will.
While a Codicil and a Will are both testamentary documents, they are not the same. A codicil is in the form of an annexure or addendum to the Will, to amend or supplement the Will. A codicil must comply with all the requirements such as those of a valid Will.
In the next leg we will respond to some other questions with regards to Wills and how we can assist. We assist with administration of estates, drafting of Wills, storage of Wills, amendments of Wills (Codicils) and challenging the validity of Wills.
Contact us for comprehensive assistance.
The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. One should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this site without seeking legal or other professional advice. The contents of this site contain general information and may not reflect current legal developments or address one’s peculiar situation. We disclaim all liability for actions one may take or fail to take based on any content on this site.
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