Do you have children?
Do you want to leave a legacy?
Do you have substantial assets?
Do you want to minimise estate taxes?
Do you want a say on how your assets are distributed or are you happy for the State to decide?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, you need a will.

A will is a legally-binding document that:

  1. Allows you to bequeath your assets to the people you wish to benefit. If you die without a will – intestate – the State will determine as to how your estate will be distributed which may not necessarily be your intentions.
  2. Minimizes any family feuds about your estate as it specifically states who will benefit, what they will get and when. Without a will the process can be more time consuming and stressful to your family.
  3. Allows you to nominate guardians for your minor children.
  4. Leaves assets to your minor children in such a way that the assets are protected and grown until the children become majors.
  5. Avoids a lengthy legal process and unnecessary delays. It is generally faster and less costly to finalise an estate with a valid will.
  6. Minimises estate taxes and administration costs on your death. Depending on your financial and estate plan, your estate may attract as much as 20% estate duty! A will allows you to plan for the inevitable and minimize taxes and administration costs.
  7. Appoints an executor to attend to the finalisation of your estate efficiently and in a timely manner. An executor will ensure that your assets are recorded, that your debts are paid and that the balance is transferred to your heirs. Electing a trustworthy and impartial executor provides peace of mind that your instructions will be honoured.
  8. Specifies your wishes in respect to your funeral and what should happen to your body (burial or cremation or organ donation).

Can I write my own Will?

It is perfectly legal to write your own will however it is not recommended. Drafting a will takes a level of knowledge and skill. The last thing you want is to save a little money drafting your own will only to lose substantial sums of money to sort out the will if it is badly written or invalid.

Using a professional

Attorneys and certified financial planners who specialise in the administration of estates are best qualified to draft a will and administer an estate. Not only have they qualified in the field, attend to administration of estates daily and are regulated by an advisory body, they can also provide you with professional and expert advice on how best to structure your estate.

A trust is a contract for the benefit of a third party. The person intending to set up the trust (the donor or founder) enters into a contract (a trust deed or will) with an administrator (or trustee) for the benefit of a third party (the beneficiary). A trust is created for various tax or legal reasons and may hold any kind of asset for the benefit of the beneficiaries.

A Living Will is a statement of your wishes regarding life-sustaining medical intervention in the event that you become terminally ill or are unable to communicate.

A General Power of Attorney: A will comes into operation on your death. if you are unable to deal with your affairs you will require a general power of attorney appointing a trustworthy person to attend to your maintenance and estate.

Beneficiary Nominations: Since all retirement funding and policies fall outside of your estate and therefore are not administered in terms of your will, it is important to update your beneficiary nominations at the same time as updating your will.

We charge a fee of R1,750 (VAT exclusive) per hour based on a time/work basis. Our fee includes consultations with you to give specialised inheritance tax planning advice, drafting, signature and safekeeping of the will.

The costs for administering your estate is limited to a maximum fee of 3,99% of the gross value of your estate. This fee is negotiable at the date of our appointment as executors taking into account the complexity of the estate, the risk of litigation and the number of properties falling into your estate for transfer.

We need not be named as executors to your will however there are advantages to doing so:

  1. Our directors are certified financial planners registered with the Financial Planning Institute of South Africa.
  2. Our directors are qualified attorneys affiliated to the Law Society of South Africa specialising in the drafting of wills and the administration of deceased estates.
  3. Our firm has dedicated conveyancers that will attend to all property transfers in the estate.
  4. As all matters relating to the administration and finalisation of the estate will be dealt with by our firm directly it allows for the smooth transition and one point of contact for you and your heirs.
  5. We will re-draft / amend your will once a year free of charge.
  6. We will endeavour to forward annual reminders to you to update your will and will revert to you should there be any changes in tax law that will impact on your estate plan that we have implemented.

Procrastination and the unwillingness to accept death are the main reasons why people do not draft their wills. It is easy to draft a will and will save your family unnecessary heartache at an already difficult time.

Your will can be changed at any time and it is advisable to review it periodically and especially when your circumstances change.

Contact us today for assistance on any of the above.

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