Dying without a will
Dying without a Will in place Drawing up a Will is about taking control of your estate and taking care of those you leave behind. Should you die without a Will, your estate will be distributed in terms of the law of intestate succession. This means that beneficiaries you may never have wished to inherit might benefit, while those that you genuinely care for and would want to benefit might be left with no legal entitlement to your estate or assets. Having a valid Will is a surefire way to avoid unintended consequences. There are also many other benefits of having a Will, such as the ability to appoint guardians for any minor children, keeping a helpful record of assets that surviving relatives might not be aware of, limiting taxes payable on deceased estates, important decisions regarding medical care should a person be unable to communicate his or her wishes.
Here are the basics to keep in mind
A Will must be in writing. That means no plain handwritten or typed documents, oral Wills or video recordings. The Will must be signed by the testator on each page, as well as at the end of the document (last page). The testator should sign the Will in the presence of 2 or more witnesses. These witnesses should be at least 14 years old and competent to give evidence in court. It is not required that the witnesses know the content of the Will, just that they are witnessing that it is the testator’s Will. It’s essential to keep in mind is that no witness may inherit in terms of a Will. The witnesses must also, in the presence of the testator and each other, sign the Will at the end of the document and not on each page. Though not a requirement, it may be beneficial to place a date on the Will. In the case that the testator leaves behind more than one Will, this will help determine which one was the last and final.