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The Will is a document stating how the estate of a deceased person will be divided upon death. The person making the ill is known as the testator (he) and testafix (she).


Making a will is important because it shows how the property and assets of the deceased known as the estate will be divided after death. This saves the dependents a lot of stress, money and time. If there is no valid Will, or it has been challenged successfully or it has not passed probate period the estate passes to the state to divide it.


For the Will to be valid it must meet the following requirements-:
- the Will must be in writing
- the person making the will must be 18 years and above or
- be married or have been married
- be of a sound mind
- must be signed or marked by the testator in the presence of 2 witnesses
- witnesses must sign in the presence of testator
- signature must be at the end of the Will
- witnesses, their spouses and children must not be beneficiaries

When a person dies having made a will

When a person dies when he has made a will he is said to have died interstate. This means that the estate will be divided as per his wishes stated in the ill. This will be done after all the debts, liabilities and expenses are paid. The legal rights of the spouse and children are considered first subject to limitations. The children who are born within marriage have the same legal rights as those born outside marriage and adopted children. The executors named in the Will apply for If this is not done A Letter of Administration can be obtained.  

When a person dies without having made a will

When a person dies without leaving a Will the spouse or civil partner with children is given two-thirds of the estate and the one-third is divided equally among the children or their children if they are not alive. If the spouse or legal has no children then she is entitled to one half of the estate. If there no spouse and children the estate is divided as per the Succession Act, 1965.

Before a Will becomes valid, it has to pass through the probate to prove it's validity. A Will can be changed or revoked.

Anyone above 18 years can make a Will provided they are of sound mind. This means that they have to understand what they are doing, the property they own, how much it is worth and how they want it divided after death. The Will can be challenged by the beneficiaries who feel they have not been properly treated.

Making a Will can be complex and in such instances one has to consult a solicitor who will prepare the document on their behalf. But this does not have to be. There are many online websites which make it easy to write a Will within a short time at affordable prices. There are online experts who review answers to the questions asked. There are also computer programs which can be downloaded but the requirements have to be adhered to.

Keep the Will in a safe place where the executor can access it. 

Last modified onTuesday, 02 April 2013 15:49
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