It’s National Wills Week (13 – 17 September 2021) and the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements (WCDoHS) is urging all its housing beneficiaries to draft their Wills for free.
WCDoHS reminds citizens of the importance of having a valid and up-to-date Will. A valid Will ensures that your home and movable assets are distributed according to your wishes in the event of death. A valid Will also ensures that your loved ones don’t have to deal with any delays or conflict when fulfilling your wishes.
Mr Nathan Adriaanse, the WCDoHS Director of Communication and Stakeholder Relations, commented that “often our beneficiaries have a misconception that since the Department hands over Breaking New Ground (BNG) houses, the Department can be involved when there are disputes in the family in terms of who inherits the house when the beneficiary has passed away without a Will. Unfortunately, the Department cannot be involved or make decisions in such instances.”
Adriaanse continued by adding that the Department “would like to make it clear that once a government subsidised house and title deed has been handed over, it is the beneficiary’s responsibility to ensure that they have a Will in place which stipulates who gets to inherit their house”.
What happens if you don’t have a valid Will?
In the case that there isn’t a Will, your home and any assets are distributed in accordance with the Estate Laws of the country. Some of the consequences of not having a Will may include:
- Not having control over who inherits your home
- In the case that you are not married, your partner may be left with nothing
- Family members may disagree and/or argue regarding your final wishes
- It can take years for the State to wind-up your Estate.
How to set up your free Will
Free assistance is available from participating attorneys across the Western Cape during National Wills Week 2021. Various banks, insurance companies, and NGO’s can also provide assistance to draft a Will. Beneficiaries can also draft their own Will, provided that:
- The Will must be in writing, either typed or handwritten
- The Will must show the date and place it was concluded
- Each page of the Will must be signed by the testator
- The Will must be signed by two witnesses
- It is advisable to have your Will certified by a Commissioner of Oaths
Media Statement: Get your Wills drafted for free during National Wills Week