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Today; we intend to look at the subject of a Will.

There are only two definite aspects to our lives; one is taxes, and the other is death, or so the adage goes.

Death awaits all of us and is inevitable.

On a lighter note; Elbert Hubberd said “Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive!”

Your will is probably the most important document you will ever sign in your lifetime.

This being the case; why is it that so many people pay scant attention to their wills and what happens to their estate when they die. Is it because most of us do not want to think too much about our own mortality?

In South Africa, the Wills Act No 7 of 1953 is the piece of legislation which governs the making and validity of a Will.

Basic rules:

  1. In order to execute a valid will; you must be at least 18 years of age; which is the age of majority now.
  2. A will must be in writing.
  3. A will must be signed in full on each page by the testator or testatrix and must be witnessed by two witnesses over the age of 16 years.
  4. The witnesses must also sign in full one each page of the will.
  5. When they sign all the signatories ie the testator/testatrix and the two witnesses must all be present at the time of signature.

The above are the essential elements of a valid will.

There are however other rules of both the common law and legislation which should be complied with if you want to legally give effect to your wishes in your will, and we will deal with some of those in our next blog.

As we normally do; we reiterate that if you are wanting to draft a will; it is always wise to first get proper, professional legal advice before you do anything else. You need to know exactly what you need to do to ensure your will is going be accepted as a valid will by the Master of the High Court.

If you have a query regarding a will; please contact us at The Legal Advice Office direct and/or our legal consultant, Hugh, as soon as possible for obtaining proper, professional legal advice.

About our author:

Hugh Pollard (Legal Consultant), has a BA LLB and 41 years’ experience in the legal field. 22 years as a practising attorney and conveyancer; and 19 years as a Legal Consultant.

082-0932304 (Hugh’s Cell Number)

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Thank you.

The Legal Advice Office Team.


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Legal Advice Office

South Africa

Kandelaar Street, Vermont, Hermanus
Phone: +27 (0) 82 093 2304