CAPE TOWN – Apart from being music icons, Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley and James Brown died without having a will.
One of the biggest impacts of this – in almost all of these cases – has been infighting among relatives and, as a result, long legal battles.
With National Wills Week running from the September 17 to 21, it is an opportunity to highlight the importance of having a valid will – even if you are not a legendary recording artist.
Head of Channel at Metropolitan Retail, Japie Mostert, said: “Having a will is essential for ensuring that your assets go to the people you want. Without one, you can’t be sure that your estate will be shared among your family in the proportions that you would like.
“What’s more, it could possibly help to mitigate conflict amongst family members because your will gives clear instructions on how you would like to divide your assets.”
Mostert said a will was even more important if you had children under the age of 18 because it would enable you to choose a guardian to take care of them if something happens to you. “By law, the children’s remaining parent is expected to look after them, but should they pass away too, you need someone who can step in. If you don’t state who you want as your children’s legal guardian in your will, the courts could pick someone who you would not have chosen.
“Despite the peace of mind that having a will gives, 70 percent of South Africa’s working population do not have one, according to the Master of the High Court. “We suspect that one of the reasons for this is because people think drawing up a will is a complicated and costly process. To address this, we have developed a free, simple digital will that can be filled out in seven easy steps on our website,” said Mostert.
– BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE