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Article by listed attorney: Fawzia Khan


Have you made out your Will yet or had it updated after getting married, having children or even getting divorced?

Having a properly drawn up valid Will cannot be over emphasized.The reasons why you need to have a valid Will are manifold. Often people mistakenly believe that if they are married in community of property, it’s not necessary to make a will as the surviving spouse will inherit their assets. The reality is that even if you are married in community of property, and you die without leaving a Will, your half share of your estate will not automatically go to your surviving spouse. The laws of intestate succession immediately applies and your blood relatives as set out in the Intestate Act will be entitled to inherit from your estate. This could mean that relatives whom you may not want to benefit, now stand to inherit from your estate.

There are many websites offering to provide templates for drafting a Will. I believe that as this document is so crucial, it should not be done without proper legal advice and supervision. Clearly a Will cannot be altered after your death and as it seeks  to action your instructions after you have gone, you need to ensure that it properly, legally and correctly conveys exactly your instructions. Getting a Will drawn up by an attorney is therefore highly recommended. The are some fundamental rules which need to be considered when drawing up an signing a Will and if the rules are not obeyed, you stand the risk that the Master of the High Court could reject the Will and your estate will then be wound up as if you did not leave a Will.

One example of such a rule is that a witness to your Will, including the person who typed out the Will is not allowed to inherit from your estate. An attorney is, in my opinion, the most suited person to draft your Will. There are many financial institutions that offer to draw up your Will for free However, it’s usually subject to the condition that they be appointed as the Executor in your estate. So there’s really no such thing as a “free lunch”.

At our firm, we provide legal services to our clients where we will draft your Will, in accordance with your instructions. More importantly we will offer you advice on the pitfalls or benefits with any proposed bequest or inheritance and if there’s a likelihood of a problem, we will help you find solutions to them. Thereby offering you advice on estate planning. All estates in excess of R3, 5 million are dutiable at 20% of the value of the estate. That is a significant amount which is payable to SARS. At Fawzia Khan and Associates, we will guide you on how to effectively reduce the amount of estate duty, by making use of the deductions allowed in terms of the Estate Duty Act.

The Law Desk of Fawzia Khan & Associates. Giving You the Power of Attorney. Email or call 031-5025670 for legal assistance at competitive rates.