When to change your will:
You should change your Will to reflect your current wishes and situations.
It’s time to write a new will or revise your will when you are experiencing a life changing event. Your will should be drawn up to your current family and financial situation.
Below is a list of some events and circumstances which will require you to amend and review your will:
- You get married.
- You are unmarried but have a life partner.
- You get divorced.
- You bring a new baby into the family.
- You have new step children.
- You acquire or dispose of substantial assets, such as a home.
- You change your mind about who you want to inherit a significant portion of your property.
Changing Your Will:
There are two ways to modify a will. One is to add a ‘codicil’ to it or to make a new will.
A codicil is a sort of legal ‘P.S.’ to the will allowing you to revoke part of it or add a provision, such as a new gift.
Simple codicils made sense in the era of typewriters, when creating a brand-new will was a hassle, but today it is not a practical idea. Codicils could create confusion-sometimes even conflict- and they must be dated, signed and witnessed just like a will.
It is usually easier to make a new will. In it, you revoke your old will by including the statement ‘I revoke all wills and codicils that I have previously made.’ It is also a good idea to gather all copies of your old will and destroy them when your new will has been drawn up and signed by all parties.
Power of Attorney:
In terms of South African law, a power of attorney granted by a person during his or her lifetime becomes null and void when the person who granted it dies or becomes mentally incapable. In addition, once a person has passed away no one is legally permitted to deal with any assets in that person’s estate except an executor in whose favour the Master of the High Court has issued Letters of Executorship.