In this podcast Maya speaks to wills and estate specialist Alex Simeonides, CEO of Capital Legacy, about the things to keep in mind when it comes to drawing up a will.
Alex answers the following questions:
- Why are we so afraid to sign a will?
- How can a parent use a will to protect their children’s inheritance?
- Why should you not make your minor child a beneficiary of your life policy?
- How can you provide for the costs of winding up your estate?
Why drawing up a will is so important
Many people seem to think that there are excessive and “unnecessary” costs associated with drawing up a will, and if their affairs are simple, they don’t need one. “When I die, everything must just go to my spouse, isn’t that obvious?” some might say.
While that may be true, you can certainly reduce taxes and fees by drawing up a will and doing some basic estate planning. In this way, you can leave more of your assets as a family legacy. If your affairs are a bit more complex, and you have children, it’s even more important that you put a proper will in place.
For a will to be valid in South Africa it has to adhere to the requirements as set out in the Wills Act 7 of 1953. These requirements include that:
- A person must be over the age of 16 years.
- The will must be signed in ink (wet signature).
- The will must be signed by the Testator/Testatrix, on each page and at the end.
- The signing of the Will must be witnessed by two competent independent witnesses, both present at the same time, who sign on each page and at the end of the Will too.
Who can witness a will?
In order to be an independent witness, the relevant person must:
- Be 14 years or older;
- Be mentally capable of providing testimony in court at the time of signing;
- Not be mentioned in the will;
- Not be the spouse of anyone who has been specified in the will.