Last Will & Testament: DIY

Merlin

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Jan 18, 2006
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Hi everyone,



I need to arrange a Last Will & Testament for myself.

I've casually posed a few questions to legal friends, but I still have some questions...

Yes, I could go to my bank or to a lawyer and have one drawn up 'for free', but frankly, I don't see why a small chunk of their time should entitle them to a chunk of my life when I drop. I'd be prepared to pay for a couple of professional hours of someone's time, if needs be. That is only fair.

Does a LW&T need to be constructed in a particular fashion and executed by someone official? If I were to draft a document saying X goes to Y and 20% of my savings goes to Z, with a date & signature and nominated family member of friend listed as executor suffice?

Thanks.
 

Arthur

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Very briefly, make sure your new will
- unequivocally repudiates all previous wills
- says you're of sound mind and making the will freely and without coercion
- appoints an executor and an alternative in case first executor can't take it up, and (if family/friend) waives the requirement to lodge any security with Master as normally required of an executor
- is dated and signed by you and two witnesses who are not beneficiaries, all done in one another's presence, and says so.

Doesn't need to be "executed" or drafted by anyone else.

Just make sure the signed original is discoverable in event of your death, else it's pointless.
 
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Arthur

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... There are probably many templates / examples online of SA wills...
 

Merlin

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Many thanks, Arthur. Some great tips in there. Much appreciated.
 

FuLL_MeT4L

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I wrote my own recently, using a document I found and modified to suit my needs. Excellent points by Arthur. Keep it as simple and clear as possible.
 

Merlin

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Thanks.

I had a look through several legal 'sites too. It looks like I'm going to have to chat to a lawyer, as I'm looking to form a trust as part of it.
 

Madaboutbullterriers

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I have a question Father owned property left it to son with a stipulation in the will that it would only belong to son and no spouse could inherit (I assume this was if the son died before the father or there was a divorce). The house is now transfered to the son, what would happen if said son passed away and if he didnt have a will but is married in community of property? No minor children involved
 

Arthur

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I have a question Father owned property left it to son with a stipulation in the will that it would only belong to son and no spouse could inherit (I assume this was if the son died before the father or there was a divorce). The house is now transfered to the son, what would happen if said son passed away and if he didnt have a will but is married in community of property? No minor children involved
Normal law of intestate succession applies, as per the Intestate Succession Act of 1987. State appoints an executor, and all goes to spouse as there are no descendants. Since they are married in CoP, they both own the estate (ie they both own 100%), so the joint estate is valued and only half the taxes and duties (after exemptions) are payable. Surviving spouse, as sole heir, applies to have the property registered in her name.

Edit: You say "no minor children involved". Answer above assumed no children at all, ie no descendants. If the father has descendants of whatever age, they are heirs of course, along with the deceased's spouse.
 
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mattrudlles

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Hi everyone,



I need to arrange a Last Will & Testament for myself.

I've casually posed a few questions to legal friends, but I still have some questions...

Yes, I could go to my bank or to a lawyer and have one drawn up 'for free', but frankly, I don't see why a small chunk of their time should entitle them to a chunk of my life when I drop. I'd be prepared to pay for a couple of professional hours of someone's time, if needs be. That is only fair.

Does a LW&T need to be constructed in a particular fashion and executed by someone official? If I were to draft a document saying X goes to Y and 20% of my savings goes to Z, with a date & signature and nominated family member of friend listed as executor suffice?

Thanks.
***THIS IS NOT CURRENTLY LAW - DISCLAIMER***

I apologise for the disclaimer OP, it is there so that pedantic posters don't latch onto what I am about to say and cause needless arguments.

I would recommend that you scan a copy of your completed Will once signed and witnessed. Store it on dropbox, gmail, and so on. The law may very well change to recognise digital copies of a Will, and at the very least it will provide documentary evidence that a Will was in fact in existence should the physical copy not be available.

I would even lock the scanned PDF to provide that extra layer of protection against meddling to satisfy the court that it was not tampered with.

My 5 cents.
 

mattrudlles

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Thanks.

I had a look through several legal 'sites too. It looks like I'm going to have to chat to a lawyer, as I'm looking to form a trust as part of it.
Also the amount of time, work, and money the family executor will incur may make you think twice about the cost of an attorney executor.

You will definitely need an attorney if you want to form a trust - a specialist. There are a lot of tax implications involved with how the property is handled with a trust, and structuring decisions to be made to minimize taxation.
 

Madaboutbullterriers

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Normal law of intestate succession applies, as per the Intestate Succession Act of 1987. State appoints an executor, and all goes to spouse as there are no descendants. Since they are married in CoP, they both own the estate (ie they both own 100%), so the joint estate is valued and only half the taxes and duties (after exemptions) are payable. Surviving spouse, as sole heir, applies to have the property registered in her name.

Edit: You say "no minor children involved". Answer above assumed no children at all, ie no descendants. If the father has descendants of whatever age, they are heirs of course, along with the deceased's spouse.
Thanks for the reply

If son who inherited deceased fathers estate has grown children along with spouse how would the estate be split without a will?
 

Merlin

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Thank you very much, everyone. Will be following up on all of it.
 
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