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Are you one of the 75% of South Africans who pass away without having a valid Will in place?  This can cause terrible consequences for the deceased’s family and dependants.

National Wills Week is from 26-30 October 2020.
Why not take advantage of this
and get your will drawn up at no cost?

(Remember, YEI members get their wills drawn up at no cost throughout the year)


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Paula Bongers from Proactive Wills and Estates reiterates that now is the time to update your Will.  Don’t leave it!  Paula has identified 8 key factors which speak to why you need to update your will now….

Have any of the beneficiaries in your present Will passed away?

It is so much easier for you to update your Will and remove them or change them.  If this is not done, then your Executor must prove that they have predeceased you and it means extra admin work in your estate and having to obtain their Death Certificates to prove that they are no longer here.

Has your marital status changed?  

Have you got married since you first drafted your Will?  Are you married in or out of community?  Please discuss the effects of these two forms of marriage with an attorney before you tie the knot.  Don’t rely on your marriage officer, who may not be equipped to fully advise you.  It is much easier to choose the right marital regime before you get married than to try to fix it afterwards).

Have you divorced?

The law allows a grace period of three months during which they will treat your divorced spouse as having predeceased you.  After the three months is up, the law presumes that your wish is for your beneficiaries to inherit, if you haven’t changed your Will.  Divorce is a tumultuous period and changing your Will is often something that slips your mind.

Have you had a child, or more children, or grandchildren? 

Make sure that all your children and grandchildren are mentioned in your Will, otherwise you may find younger children or grandchidren being disinherited because they are not mentioned.

Have you made any special bequests in your Will (i.e. specific items to someone)?

Check that you still own these assets. If not, it’s time to remove them from your Will.If you have made cash bequests,  it is also very important to check that you have sufficient funds in your estate to pay these, otherwise they should be changed.

Has the value of your estate increased significantly? 

You will receive a rebate of R3,500,000-00 from your assets before you are liable for Estate Duty.  If you think your assets have increased beyond this amount, it may be a good idea to discuss this with the person who drafted your Will or your financial advisor.

Revisit your Will every five years.

Probably having a look at your Will every 5 years to refresh your mind as to what you have put in it is a good idea.  You may have changed your mind about who you want to benefit from your Estate. 

And lastly.  Do you know where your existing Will is?

If you can’t find it, then it is urgent to redraft your Will.  If a proper signed Will cannot be found at the time of someone passing, then their estate is deemed to be intestate and will devolve upon their nearest blood relatives.


The best advice of all is: don’t procrastinate.
Print this article.  Put it in your urgent To Do list,
and ensure that you attend to this important aspect.  Don’t leave matters to chance.


If you find the thought of updating your Will an overwhelming task, then break it down into small steps.  Maybe just phone someone knowledgeable and have a chat.  Alternatively, contact your attorney/executor advising
that you would like to update your Will.  


If you need help, please complete the form below, and Paula Bongers from Proactive Wills and Estates will get back to you as soon as she can.



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Tel. (021) 551 1741    Fax. (021) 551 1742   Cell. 073 217 2644 





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Relevant articles:

Proactive Wills and Estates

How to compile “My Estate Planning File” – 2021

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