Lawbuntu Learn

Welcome to Lawbuntu Learn. Browse through the different legal topics to learn more about the law in South Africa.

Estates

It is important to ensure you have a plan in place for the division of your assets and payment of your liabilities when you die.

Tips for Wills

  • Keep it simple. Click here to download a basic custom will.
  • Write the place and date the Will was signed clearly.
  • Amendments must be initialled by you and witnesses.
  • Be careful about equally divided assets. (Example: it is difficult to split a house or car in half)
  • Ensure you appoint a reliable Executor.
  • Use Identity Numbers to identify people and avoid confusion.
  • Appoint different heirs to inherit if the first heir dies.
  • Nominate a guardian to care for any minor children you have.
  • Keep your Will in a safe place.
  • Tell friends/family where your Will is.
  • Make sure you understand the document!
  • What

    Your estate is all of your assets and liabilities.

    Your will is a written document that directs how your assets will be divided after your death.

    Your will is only valid for South Africa (beware of foreign assets).

    Assets are the things you own (cars, cash, houses, etc).

    Your liabilities are the things you owe (debts, sureties, etc).

    How

    The best way to manage your estate is to sign a Last Will and Testament.

    If you die without a will, your estate is administered by the State.

    The Intestate Succession Act is used when no will was drafted.

    This process can take longer, and gives the deceased person far less control over how his or her estate is divided

    A will must be properly signed and witnessed to be legitimate.

    Signing the will

    You and two witnesses must sign on every page

    Witnesses must be 16 or older and should not be beneficiaries.

    Click here to download a basic free will.

    Why

    A Last Will and Testament makes sure your assets and affairs are properly taken care of after you die. It also allows you to decide who will, and who won't, inherit from you when you die.

    When

    Your estate will be divided when you die.

    This is when your Will becomes important.

    What matters most is the legacy you leave behind…

    Where

    Your Will can be signed anywhere, and the location and date should be clearly indicated on the document.

    Your estate will be settled at the Master of the High Court (‘The Masters Office’).