During this week, members of the public will be able to have a basic will drafted by our offices free of charge!

Why is a will important?

Having a will helps to ensure that your wishes are carried out after your death and can provide several benefits for you and your loved ones.

Here are some reasons why having a will is important:

Distribution of Assets: A will allows you to specify how you want your property, assets and possessions to be distributed among your beneficiaries. Without a will, your assets may be distributed according to the Intestate Succession Act, which might not align with your wishes.

Guardianship for Minor Children: If you have minor children, a will allows you to name a guardian to care for them in case of your death. This ensures that your children are looked after by someone you trust and who shares your values.

Avoid Intestacy Laws: Dying without a will is known as dying intestate. In such cases, the Intestate Succession Act will determine how your assets will be distributed. This can result in a lengthy and potentially costly legal process, and your assets might not end up where or with whom you intended.

Minimise Family Conflicts: A well-drafted will with clear instructions may help reduce the potential for misunderstandings, disputes and conflicts among family members regarding asset distribution.

Appointing an Executor: In your will, you can name an executor of your choice, who is responsible for carrying out the instructions in your will and handling the administrative tasks of your estate.

Charitable Donations: If you wish to leave a portion of your estate to a charity or cause you care about, a will allows you to do so.

Business Succession: If you own a business, a will can outline your wishes for the future of the business, such as who will take over its management or ownership.

Estate Planning: A properly structured will may help minimise estate taxes and other potential financial burdens on your beneficiaries.

Personalisation: A will allows you to customise your estate plan based on your unique circumstances and the needs of your family. You can address specific concerns or provide for individuals who may not be legally recognised as heirs without a will.

Peace of Mind: Creating a will provides peace of mind, knowing that you have taken steps to ensure your loved ones are taken care of and your assets are distributed according to your wishes.

In summary, having a will gives you control over what happens to your assets, ensures your loved ones are cared for, and can help prevent unnecessary legal complications and family disputes. It’s an essential tool in estate planning that allows you to leave a clear and legally binding set of instructions for your affairs after your passing.

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal advice and Smith van der Watt will not be held liable for any reliance hereupon. An attorney should be consulted to discuss your testamentary needs.