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Picture: 123RF/DANIEL J?DZURA
Picture: 123RF/DANIEL J?DZURA

More than 75% of South Africans pass away without a valid will in place, causing devastating consequences for their families and dependants.

To help combat this statistic, the Law Society of SA (LSSA) promotes National Wills Week, every year, and participating attorneys offer their drafting services for basic wills at no cost to clients.

Wills Week is normally in September, but due to Covid-19 and lockdown, the LSSA has announced that National Wills Week will be from October 26 to 30 this year.

More than 75% of South Africans pass away without a valid will in place

Why have a National Wills Week?

Most people know they need a will, but statistics show that South Africans are notorious procrastinators.

In a recent survey we conducted, we asked people why they haven’t got their wills in order. The results?

  • 43% of respondents said: “I just haven’t got around to it”. 
  • 27% said: “I’m not sure where to get my will done”. 
  • 21% said: “I think it might be expensive to get a will”.
  • Only 9% of respondents said they think they don’t need a will.
43% of respondents said: I just haven’t got around to it

So, with more than 75% of South Africans passing away without a will in place, it’s not necessarily an awareness issue – it’s an education issue. People need to know the devastating consequences their families and dependants will face if they were to pass away without a will.

In our business, we see the reality of families struggling to deal with the loss of a loved one almost every day. This struggle is more difficult when the parent’s affairs are not in order.

Having a National Wills Week is important – but it’s not enough. For us, every week is Wills Week; we’re actually making it Wills Month. When we see how we are helping families in their darkest hour, we are motivated to continue our quest to change the stats of a nation.  

Your children’s inheritance could pass to the government Guardian’s Fund rather than to a trust that will ensure your wishes for them are carried out

The top five consequences of passing away without a will

  1. You forfeit the opportunity to decide who inherits what, and your estate is distributed according to SA law. This means people whom you may not have wanted to benefit from your estate may inherit your assets and family heirlooms.

  2. Your partner may be left with nothing if you’re not married, or your will is not updated from a previous marriage.

  3. Your children’s inheritance could pass to the government Guardian’s Fund or appointed guardian rather than to a trust that will ensure your wishes for them are carried out.

  4. Family feuds often occur when family members argue over the distribution of your estate if your final wishes are not clearly documented in a will.

  5. Winding up your estate can take years – without a will or appointing a professional executor, the government is essentially in control of the process.
About the author: Alex Simeonides is Capital Legacy CEO and co-founder. Picture: SUPPLIED/CAPITAL LEGACY
About the author: Alex Simeonides is Capital Legacy CEO and co-founder. Picture: SUPPLIED/CAPITAL LEGACY

Capital Legacy has dedicated the past eight years to helping more South Africans get valid wills in place. We have helped more than 300,000 people so far and are committed to changing the statistics of our country.

We want to help more people understand why it’s important to finalise their will, and make it easy and convenient for them … so there’s no excuse not to get this important task done.

Five ways we make it easy for you to get your will sorted

  1. We have more than 100 consultants around the country who can meet you at a time and place convenient for you, any day of the week including weekends.

  2. No charge for drafting your will. That’s correct. We don’t charge you for the consultation or the drafting of your will.

  3. No charge for collecting your signed will. Our courier service makes sure that your signed will is safely collected and delivered to us – and we pick up the tab.

  4. No charge for safekeeping. We keep all our clients’ wills in secure vaults, barcoded and easily retrievable – at no cost to you.

  5. No charge for making amendments. We encourage our clients to review their wills every few years and definitely after major life events. We don’t charge you anything to make these changes ensuring your will remains up to date.

Our mission is to help more South Africans get valid wills in place and change the statistics we see in the market. Please don’t procrastinate – get your will sorted today.

For more info and to book your free will consultation, visit: www.capitallegacy.co.za.

This article was paid for by Capital Legacy.

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