“I often read in the media that it is important to
have a Last Will and Testament. I am unmarried and I have 2 young children,
aged 10 and 8. If I understand a recent article in our local newspaper
correctly, my 2 children will inherit everything if I die without a valid Will.
Why then should I have a Will?”
There are many reasons why you as a single parent
with minor children should have a Will. I will provide you with ten very
Drafting a Will is a
serious and important undertaking as it is probably the most important document
you will sign in your lifetime.
is in effect your instructions to an executor on how to handle all the
assets which you have accumulated during your lifetime and it contains
arrangements regarding, inter alia, the distribution of your estate.
is the only method by which you can ensure that your assets, including
items of monetary and/or sentimental value, are properly protected and
distributed in accordance with your wishes.
can have a great influence on the well-being of the persons that you care
about, and when you draft a Will you ensure that they will be looked after
when you are no longer there for them.
you die without a Will while your children are still minor, their
inheritances will have to be deposited in the Guardian's Fund, overseen by
the Master of the High Court, until they become major.
You can nominate
guardians of your choice for your minor children in your Will.
nominating an experienced executor in your Will a family member is
relieved of the burden of having to be involved in the administration of
have a Will which clearly states your wishes, potential quarrels between
heirs over who gets what can easily be avoided.
you die without a valid Will your estate will devolve in accordance with a
formula prescribed by the Intestate Succession Act, which can lead to
impractical and inflexible results that are far removed from your
absence of a valid Will can lead to a delay in the administration of your
estate and can also bring about increased costs.
Your children are indeed your intestate heirs but,
in order to nominate guardians of your choice and to protect the inheritances
of your minor children by way of a testamentary trust, you should have a Last
Will and Testament drawn up as soon as possible.