The public will be able to have a basic will drafted by an attorney free of charge during National Wills Week from Monday September 17 to Friday September 21.
Attorneys’ firms throughout the country are participating in the National Wills Week project.
“If you are a parent, a breadwinner, a homeowner and generally want to ensure that your affairs are in order, it is important that you have a valid will drafted by a professional.
“A valid will allows you to state your last wishes, who should inherit your assets and property, to appoint an executor of your choice for your estate and also a guardian for your minor children,” say Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) co-chairpersons, Mvuzo Notyesi and Ettienne Barnard.
If you were married, divorced or widowed recently, or you have started cohabitating with your partner or have bought new property you must have a will. Similarly, unmarried people – particularly those who may have a number of people and extended family members who depend on them financially – should ensure they have a will in place, as several people could make a claim on their estates.
“By ensuring that you have a valid will, you as the testator, can protect the interests of your loved ones and ensure that there is no delay in settling your estate after your death.
“It also ensures that your executor will act according to your wishes as set out in your will.
“A valid will allows you to state who should inherit your assets and property, to appoint an executor of your choice for your estate and also a guardian for your minor children,” said Mr Barnard and Mr Notyesi.
Attorneys taking part in the National Wills Week initiative will display posters with their contact details so the public can make appointments with attorneys in their area. The contact details and addresses of all participating attorneys can also be accessed on the LSSA website at www.LSSA.org.za or by contacting the relevant provincial law society.
Take your ID document and a list of what you own, including specific personal items that you wish to bequeath to specific people. Before you go to the attorney, think about:
Who must get what?
Who should be the legal guardians of your minor children?
Who should be the executor of your will? This could be your attorney or a close family member or friend.
If you decide on a family member or friend, it is advisable also to nominate the attorney as co-executor as the attorney will deal with any legal issues.
Call the Cape Law Society at 021 443 6700 for more information.