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Great ways to execute a valid will during lockdown

File Image: IOL

File Image: IOL

Published Apr 29, 2020


FISA Chief executive Louis van Vuren offers the following practical ways to execute a valid will under the current circumstances:

* If the testator is a terminally ill patient in a hospital, the testator could sign in the presence of two nursing staff members who can sign as witnesses.

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* If your relationship with your neighbours is such that you are comfortable that they sign as witnesses, you can place the will document through or over the fence and confirm to them on the other side of the fence that it is your signature that appears on the document. They can sign while you observe over or through the fence, complying with the requirement that the signing by the witnesses must be in the presence of the testator.

* It is not clear whether the local police station would be willing to allow SA Police Service members to sign as witnesses to a will if you walk into the police station and ask them to.

* Where none of the above is an option, the common-sense approach would be to date and sign the will properly, and also draft and sign a memorandum or letter making it clear why the will was not signed by witnesses, stating that the will is intended to be your last will and testament. The will can also be scanned after signature and emailed to a fiduciary practitioner. “This course of action will increase the chances of a successful application to order the Master of the High Court to accept the will as valid,” Van Vuren says.


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