When you start thinking about a will, it is important to know that South Africa’s legislation has a number of requirements for a will to be valid. The requirements are not complicated, but must all be in place to make sure your will cannot be contested.
Using an attorney to draft your will is not a requirement, but highly recommended to make sure you meet the legal requirements and avoid any conflict in terms of your will after your death.
In addition, using a qualified attorney ensures that your estate is properly administered. This means that when the time comes to wrap up your affairs, there is minimal delay and costs in processing the required information, which in the end will leave more to your heirs.
When drafting your will, a well-established attorney can quickly identify and advise on any short-comings that may not be apparent in your first draft. To assist in drafting a will, a good attorney that has experience in estates is vital.
A key advantage to having a reputable attorney safeguarding your will is that it’s securely stored and can quickly be retrieved to expediate the process. If you appoint an attorney as the executor of the estate, the burden of application to the Master of the High Court is handled with care, accuracy and efficiency.
Before you decide on drafting your will, think carefully about how you want your estate distributed as well as the practically of such distribution. A joint will with your spouse is also a key consideration. These are the tough questions you should consider before approaching an attorney. If anything is unclear, discuss these issues openly with your attorney.
Once you have decided how you want your affairs dealt with, an attorney can draft a will that is legally compliant, which will be stored in a secure place on your behalf.
There is no doubt that drafting a will can be daunting experience, but with an effective team of experts, the task at hand can be done promptly and thoroughly.
By Ian Gregorowski