The majority of South Africans pass away without concluding a valid Will, leaving the ones they love in disarray. Most people do not conclude a valid Will because they believe that attorneys are too expensive, or they are not sure who and how they must conclude a Will.
In an attempt to combat this the Law Society of South Africa conducts National Wills Week every year. The idea behind National Wills Week is to give every person access to an attorney who can assist in concluding a valid Will. During National Wills Week, participating attorneys offer their Will-drafting services free of charge. This year Nation Wills Week will be from 26 – 30 October 2020.
What most people do not realise is that without a valid Will, their legacy will be distributed to their family in terms of the laws of intestate succession. This means they will have no control over who benefits from their estate. A prized heirloom may end up going to a person who does not even know its sentimental value.
Another danger is that in terms of intestate succession, a person’s partner may be excluded from inheriting anything from the estate. Additionally, if a person does not regularly update their Will it is possible that an ex-spouse may inherit but not the current spouse.
If a person does not have a valid Will and leaves minor children behind, that inheritance could possibly pass to the Government Guardian’s Fund and not to the child. This means that the child will have limited access to the inheritance and could prevent the wishes of the parent from being carried out.
Another point to consider is that without a valid Will, the winding-up process can take extremely long as no professional executor is appointed or involved.
This is why National Wills Week is a vital initiative that aims to help people conclude valid Wills or to update existing Wills. At Brian Blignaut Attorney we actively encourage our clients to update their Wills. We are participating in National Wills Week, this means that we will be offering our Will-drafting services free of charge from 26 – 30 October 2020. We welcome any person to schedule a consultation with us during National Wills week to draft a new will or amend an existing will free of charge. Visit www.bbattorneys.co.za to schedule an appointment for your Will.