Where there’s a will, there’s a way – Why having a will is so important for property owners

According to  the Master’s Office, 70% of South African’s do not have a will1. What is a will, and why does it matter?

A will is a legal document that specifies what happens to your property when you pass away.  

If you die without a will, the law will decide who inherits your house. It makes no difference what you would have wanted to happen with your property. The absence of clear legal documentation outlining your wishes can lead to your family not receiving the care or financial support that you intended, possibly depriving them of necessary resources or guardianship arrangements. For example, if you have remarried and did not leave a will, your new partner will inherit the property and your children from your previous marriage may be left with nothing.

In addition, if you pass away without leaving a will and your family situation is complicated with lots of heirs standing to inherit, it means a much longer and more expensive process for your family to transfer the property into the names of the heirs.

If your partner dies without a will, you could face significant challenges especially if you are in a customary or common-law marriage that lacks official recognition. Without legal proof of your relationship or a will from your partner, you might find yourself excluded from inheriting the property if it was registered in his or her name. This could result in your property being transferred to your spouse’s children or other relatives, leaving you without a home, despite your long-term relationship.

Having a will can prevent the wrong family members getting your house after you pass away. Maybe you fear they won’t let other family members live there. You can write in your will that some family members cannot inherit your house. For example, if you are concerned that one of your children’s spouses might take the house and stop your other children from living there, you can write in your will that your child’s spouse cannot get the house. This ensures that the interests of your other children are protected.

Your will can also ensure harmony and peace between your loved ones after you pass away. For instance, you can state in your will that certain family members can live in your house for as long as they are alive. This not only secures their future but also ensures that your property continues to be treated exactly as you envisioned.

Having a will can also save your family time and money.

A will is more than a legal formality, it is a way to ensure peace of mind for both you and your loved ones. By securing a will, you are taking a responsible step towards protecting your legacy and ensuring your family’s future is shaped by your wishes not by legal frameworks. Don’t make your family fight it out after your death. Sign a will and know that your loved ones will inherit as you want them to.

At the TSC, we offer a service for drafting your will at no charge. If you are interested, please connect with us on Whatsapp or give us a call on 065 041 6832 for more information. Your peace of mind is just a conversation away.