We have heard to many stories of things going wrong, when a family member dies without having a valid Last Will and Testament. We are currently involved in drawing up such a document for someone who has been diagnosed with an incurable disease. This person does not have much when it comes to material or financial wealth and had presumed that everything would automatically go to his daughter, who lives overseas. As a result, other family members or friends could just walk in and help themselves!
May I suggest and encourage each one to be sure that your affairs are in order. Do not presume that everything will go smoothly regarding your estate, once you are gone. By checking and updating your Last Will and Testament, you will prevent your remaining loved ones from more heart sore, in the midst of their loss.
Basic templates can be downloaded from the Internet (do a Google search) and adapted to suit your requirements. Some stationary shops also sell these documents, which can be completed by hand. One requires two witnesses to sign the document. These witnesses cannot include anyone who is going to benefit from the Will. An Executor must be named in your Will and it is wise to give him/her legal charge of your affairs, should you no longer be of sound mind to handle your affairs personally. Keep one copy amongst your personal belongings and the original in a safe place, such as at the bank, with your lawyer or a family member who can be trusted. It is wise to have the copy authenticated by a Commissioner of Oaths.
I trust this information will be of use to someone who reads this Blog.
Oh, and by the way, should you have any old photos, diaries, newspaper clippings etc., which no one else wants, please feel free to leave them to our family research project, c/o myself. What may seem like "junk" to your descendants, could produce some vital information to our research.
Thank-you and God bless....