Frequently Asked Questions About Wills

With the right legal advice and the guidance of an experienced law expert, Wills do not have to be intimidating or overwhelming. To help you understand them a little bit better, here are some answers to questions that you may have surrounding your Last Will and Testament.

What is a Will?
A Will is a legal document which states how an individual’s estate is to be distributed after their death.

Who manages the estate whilst it is being distributed?
The Executor, who is appointed by the Testator in his Will, oversees the deceased estate distribution process.

Why is it necessary to have a Will?
Having a Will is useful in more than one way, it firstly adds certainty to what will happen with your estate, secondly, it avoids the unnecessary troubles caused by intestate succession, and finally it ensures that your last wishes are known and your family and/or friends receive what you have intended to leave for them.

What type of Will is best?
There are various types of Wills that can be drawn, the most popular ones being the Standard Last Will and Testament (Standard Will), The Joint Last Will and Testament (Joint Will) and The Trust Last Will and Testament (Trust Will).

A Standard Will is straight forward, as it has only one Testator or Testatrix and does not make provisions for a Testamentary Trust.

A Joint Will has more than one Testator or Testatrix and is thus most common amongst spouses married in community of property.

A Trust Will is one which makes provision for a Testamentary Trust to be created if any of the beneficiaries are below a certain age, this is common amongst people who have young children.

Who can draw up a Will?
Anyone can draw up a Will but be advised that a Will is a strong legal document which exists and remains in effect even after the Testator or Testatrix have passed away, it is therefore necessary to get the correct advice and have it drawn up by someone who is experienced and up to date with Wills, as well as the laws that regulate them.

How often should you have your Will updated?
As a rule of thumb, you should revisit your Will every six months. When revisiting your Will, look for changes in your estate and life, and corroborate them with the type of Will you have, as well as the contents of that Will.

A perfect example is when you draw a Standard Will in January 2021 and then have your first child in July 2021. When revisiting your Will, you need to be aware that a Trust Will is now necessary as you would need to make provisions for your child to be able to inherit.

If you need help drawing up or revisiting your Will, contact us for guidance and assistance.
Email:
admin@brookes.co.za.

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