This week sees the start of Wills week (13-17 September 2021), an initiative run by the Law Society of SA. We catch up with Ivan Talbot of Castleford Trust, a division of Talbot Attorneys, on the importance of having a will even when one thinks they don’t need one.
“Do I need a Will even though I have a small Estate? Is a will necessary if I have no children? Why should I have a Will if I have lots of debt?’ These are some of the many questions we are asked.
Firstly, like anything in life, and especially in law, to have anything taken seriously it must be done in writing. No exceptions. If you take yourself, your family and your business seriously, the most prudent thing you should have done by a professional, is a Will. If you do not have a Will, the chances of you having a proper Estate Plan are slim. A Will is the very first step for any comprehensive Estate Plan, which may last generations.
A Will, basically, is a signed Legal document appointing an Executor and instructing them to attend to the administration of your Estate. It does not have to be a long, expensive or sprawling document designed to confuse and to complicate. The intention of a Will is, in fact, to simplify your affairs so it is easier for your Executor to finalise. It should be a relatively short, concise document and should make sense to anyone reading it.
“What if I die without a Will?” is another frequent question asked with a large amount of trepidation. Dying without a Will (or better known as “intestate”) simply means that your Estate gets awarded onto your closest blood relatives. It does pose questions of who the Executor will be, how the assets will be split, and most importantly, how the family members, who are often lay-people, even start with the process.
This inevitably causes conflict in the family amongst immediate family members and often these arguments are irreparable. These relationships could have easily been saved by the deceased taking an hour out of their time and instructing a competent person to attend to the drafting of a legitimate Will.
A Will, at the end of the day, is not about you, it’s about your loved ones and the assets you wish to leave behind for them. It is is in fact a selfless document, as you will not get to see the benefits of it.
At Castleford Trust, we understand the complications of either dying intestate, or what could even be worse, a poorly drafted Will. We take pride in the quality of the Wills that we perform and in the administration of the Estates that we carry out. Don’t leave things to chance. Look after your family even when you not here.”
Visit their website on http://talbotlaw.co.za to learn more or to contact Ivan and his team to get your Will drafted.