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The following are ten important issues or common misconceptions you need to know about your Will.


  • Only an original and signed Will is valid
  • Your appointment of a friend or family member as Executor may be declined by the Master, thus the co-appointment of an approved professional is paramount
  • Your Will only deals with life cover that pays your estate, thus your Will and life cover beneficiary nominations must complement each other
  • If you do not create a Testamentary Trust for minor children’s inheritances, their money will go to the Government Guardian’s fund
  • Guardian nominations are only applicable when there is no surviving biological or legally-appointed parent
  • Guardian nominations are only a wish, these nominations should be aware of and happy to accept such an appointment
  • No one can inherit until all debts, fees, taxes and marital contract claims are settled, regardless of what your Will says or even if you have no Will
  • You can use a Will to document your last wishes but these are only wishes and may not be enforceable, albeit they are likely to be honoured
  • If you state that you wish to be an organ donor in your Will, you must still register with the organ donor society for this wish to be effective
  • Your cannot cater for every eventuality, thus it is better to keep it simple and up-to-date as your circumstances change

Article courtesy of Capital Legacy

One Comment

  • rene says:

    I have made several wills over the last 30 years that I am living in SA, with different institutions, as my circumstances have changed. The last one dates from +- 1 year ago (with Absa, but that is probably irrelevant). They were all dated and signed. How do I make sure that the last one is the one that is “valid” ? If only an original, signed will counts, how do I make sure that it is going to be “found” and not a previous version ? How can I make sure that previous versions are destroyed or declared invalid if the institutions that I made the wills with don’t exist any more?

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