Why do I need a Will?

A will states the way you wish your assets and liabilities to be distributed after your death.

 

Can anyone make a Will?

Anyone over the age of 18 years who has the necessary capacity can make a will. However the court can make an order authorising a minor to make, alter or revoke a will in certain circumstances.

 

What happens if I die without a Will?

Dying without a will is referred to as an “intestate estate” or “intestacy”. A partial intestacy can occur where the deceased has left a will which did not dispose of their entire estate. Assets within an intestate estate will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy under the Succession Act rather than according to any wishes you may have.

 

Will my Estate go to the government if I don't have a Will?

Only in the event that a deceased does not make a will and does not have any family.

 

Who or what is an Executor?

An executor is the person appointed in a will responsible for carrying out your wishes and administering your estate when you are deceased. The executor locates the will, pays all debts and liabilities, identifies and collects all assets of the estate and distributes your assets in accordance with your will.

 

What is a Grant of Probate?

Probate is a court order confirming that a will is valid. Following a determination by the Supreme Court that the will is valid, probate is granted in favour of the executor. The grant of probate gives the executor legal authority to deal with the assets of the estate in accordance with the wishes of the deceased.

 

Do I need a Grant of Probate?

Whether you require a grant of probate depends on the particular assets that make up the estate and their value.

 

What is the difference between a Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship?

A power of attorney is a legal document which allows an individual (known as the principal) to appoint another person (known as the attorney) to make decisions about your financial property and manage your financial affairs. An enduring guardianship is a legal document that allows you to appoint another person to make decisions on your behalf regarding your medical, health and lifestyle decisions when you lose mental capacity.

 

What is the difference between a General Power of Attorney and an Enduring Power of Attorney?

A general power of attorney will terminate if the principal loses mental capacity and an enduring power of attorney continues to operate after the principal has lost mental capacity.

 

Can I appoint more than one attorney?

Yes, however you must state whether your attorneys are to be appointed jointly or whether they can act independently of each other.

 

Can I appoint more than one enduring guardian?

Yes, however you must state whether your guardians are to be appointed jointly or whether they can act independently of each other.

 

What is a Family Provision Claim?

An application for provision (a benefit) out of a deceased persons estate where there has been no provision or inadequate provision made for the applicant.

 

Can I make a Family Provision Claim?

Yes, provided that you are an eligible person under the Succession Act and the application is made within 12 months from the date of death.