Iemas Insurance Brokers expert talks Wills – what a valid Will is and why it is important to have one.
Charles Makondo National Sales Manager: Life Mass Market at Iemas Insurance Brokers, answers a few questions on Wills and the importance of having one:
Question 1: Why is it important to have a Will?
Charles: A Will is a very important document that we all need to have in place for when we are no longer with our loved ones. If you do not have a valid Will in place when you pass on, then your assets will be dealt with interstate and the state will appoint an executor on your behalf who will handle your estate.
The consequence of this is that your estate will not necessarily be divided and allocated as you would like it to be and the settlement of your estate could possibly take years. In addition, you also need a Will to specify who should take care of your children or dependents when you are no longer there. If you do not do this, the state will decide what will happen to your children. So, it is important to get a Will in place as soon as possible if you do not have one yet. If you do have a Will in place, it is important to review it annually.
Question 2: What are the requirements for a Will to be valid?
Charles: 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 in writing;
- The Will must personally be signed by the Testator/Testatrix, at the bottom the end of each page;
- The signing of the Will should be witnessed by two competent independent witnesses, who sign at the bottom of each page.
However, many options that are specific to your estate that may be overlooked or legalities may not be taken into consideration if you do not have your Will reviewed by a testamentary specialist. These oversights may result in your Will being regarded as invalid which could lead to a costly legal exercise to rectify or for your Will to be contested after your demise.
Question 3: How does Iemas help your clients to draw up a Will and how much does it cost?
Charles: It is important to note that it is not necessary to be an existing client of Iemas, anyone can contact us regarding drafting their Will. We have a partnership with a reputable specialist organisation that drafts Wills and keeps a physical copy on behalf of the client. The drafting of the Will and its safekeeping is free of charge.
Question 4: Are there any other documents one should have in place in case something unexpected happens to you?
Charles: We refer to a Life File which is basically a file with all your important documentation like your Will but also other documents like proof of all your investments, life insurance, your assets and liabilities, insurance policies, bank details, ID document copies, access to passwords and so forth. We have a very useful video on our YouTube channel where we explain what exactly you should have in your Life File. Your family will benefit greatly from this file, so make sure they know exactly where it is safely stored.
So don’t delay – act now, contact us today to give you and your family financial peace of mind.