Housing beneficiaries should make use of the services of participating attorney’s to get a free will drafted this week, in order to avoid complications regarding government housing should the home owner pass away.
National Wills Week, being held from September 11-15, will see participating attorneys offer basic will drafting services.
The Western Cape Department of Infrastructure said it had many instances where family members requested the department’s intervention and direct home ownership, after the passing of a housing beneficiary.
Department head, Jacqueline Gooch, explained:“Residents should be aware that the department legally cannot get involved in the allocation of a house should the recipient pass, with or without a will. Following the initial handover, a house becomes the personal property and asset of the housing beneficiary.
“The onus is therefore on the recipient to indicate ownership of their house in the event of their death. A valid Will guarantees that your loved ones have no delays and conflict with regards to your wishes for your house when you pass away.”
The department advised that a legally drafted will was an essential step toward ensuring that the wishes and intentions of housing beneficiaries were respected and carried out upon their demise.
“In the absence of a Will, your home and any assets are distributed in accordance with the Interstate Succession Act. This leads to outcomes that might not align with your wishes and can result in delays, potential disputes among loved ones, and increased emotional distress during an already challenging time.”
Some of the consequences of not having a Will include:
- Not having control over who inherits your home.
- Your partner may be left with nothing if you are not married.
- Family members may argue or disagree regarding your final wishes.
- It can take years to wind-up your estate.
To draft a will, an attorney must be provided with an ID document, a list of what the person owns including specific personal items that you wish to bequeath to specific people, and a list of beneficiaries and their ID numbers.
For more information, contact the Law Society of South Africa on 012 366 8800 or email [email protected] for a list of Western Cape Attorneys participating in National Wills Week 2023.
Alternatively, visit https://www.lssa.org.za/our-initiatives/advocacy/national-wills-week/western-cape-attorneys-participating-in-the-lssa-national-wills-week-2023/