National Wills Week - diarise now

Posted on 2019-08-21 13:59:26

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If you die without leaving a valid will, your assets will be distributed according to the provisions of the Intestate Succession Act. Whilst these are generally fair, the following problems may arise:

  • Your assets may not be left to the person of your choice.
  • Only family members can inherit. Dear friends, loyal employees, and charities close to your heart will not be able to benefit, even if you promised them you would leave them something.
  • It can take a long time to wind up your affairs. An executor will need to be appointed, a search for the non-existent Will made, and family members who may have a claim may need to be traced.
  • During this time, your bank account may be frozen, leaving loved ones in financial difficulty.
  • There can be extra and unnecessary costs.
  • There can be unhappiness and conflict among members of your family because there are no clear instructions on how to distribute your assets.

 

Initiated by the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA), National Wills Week – from 16-20 September – is aimed at creating awareness of how important it is for people to have a valid Will, and why it's best to have the Will drawn up by a properly qualified attorney.

One of our board members, Yvonne Boden, head of Estates and Trusts at Garlicke & Bousfield, will be available at our premises during the week to prepare Wills for our supporters and provide advice on estate planning – all free of charge.

To take advantage of this offer, please call us to make an appointment. In preparation, think about your possessions and who will inherit them … who should be the legal guardian of your minor children … and who should be the executor of your will [usually a younger family member, attorney, financial advisor or bank]. You may need to discuss this with the person concerned, especially the one/s who will be responsible for bringing up your children should something happen to you.

For the appointment, please bring along your ID document and a list of what you own, together with the approximate value, including personal items you wish to leave to specific individuals.

Although there was no obligation, bequests are an important source of funding for our organisation, with legacies providing capital for special projects and income generating investments. You may want to take this opportunity to leave something to our SPCA in your Will, to ensure our work for animals will continue into the future.



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