Durban - According to 2017 Master of the High Court's figures, over 70% of South Africans don’t have a Last Will and Testament. In a country where legal marriage is rare and blended families are the norm, this can present difficulties for your loved ones in the event of your passing away.
National Wills Week is marked in South Africa from 16 to 20 September.
“National Wills Week is an opportunity for you to contact an attorney to assist you with drafting a will for free. Everyone should have a will that dictates how their assets should be distributed upon their death because in the absence of a will, legislation chooses your heirs,” says Faeeza Khan, Senior Legal Marketing Specialist at Liberty.
There are a variety of myths around wills and what happens to your estate after you die.
We have a common law marriage (or lobola was paid) so I’ll inherit from my spouse - Many people incorrectly assume that if they’ve been living together for long enough, they’re married in the eyes of the law. Khan says, “There's no such thing as a common law spouse in South Africa. Should your partner die without a will, you won't inherit a cent because the Intestate Succession Act doesn’t recognise partners as spouses for purposes of intestate succession.”