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Am I too young to write a will? And what about DIY wills?

Am I too young to write a will? Either because I don’t own enough, or because that is something to deal with in the future? And should I just do the whole will myself?

The scenario:

Am I too young to write a willYounger people with relatively few assets often feel that there is no point in drawing up a will. They are possibly deterred by the knowledge that making a will involves paying a fee to the attorney. They may also not have faith in the laws of the land, thinking that these will not ensure that whatever they leave behind goes to the appropriate beneficiaries. Sometimes, they may also feel that they are purely too young to bother about a will, having many years ahead of them.

In other cases, they may go the DIY route and try to draw up a will themselves, witnessed possibly by neighbours, friends or even the heirs themselves (although heirs are not, in fact, allowed by South African law to be witnesses to a will).

Am I too young to write a will? And DIY wills. Our advice:

For those who feel that there is no point to having a will, it always makes sense to draw up a will rather than not to have one. Those who do neglect to make a will are more than likely to leave behind a situation where the assets bequeathed do not go at all or in the right quantities to the people the benefactors really would like to benefit.

Feeling too young should not deter you from drawing up a will. The truth is, unexpected events can happen in life, accidents can occur causing death and young people are not exempt from this possibility. This is obvious. And if you feel like you do not have enough assets to justify drawing up a will, having a will ensures that what you do at least have does go to those you want it to go to.

Those going the DIY route, that is, those who do draw up wills themselves, tend to make fundamental mistakes such as failing to appoint an executor or they leave loopholes that can be easily exploited. The relatively small cost of making a will with the help of a lawyer is almost always more than compensated for by the way such wills facilitate passing on inheritances and ensuring that they end up in the right hands. Using a lawyer also greatly reduces the risk of the will containing those exploitable loopholes!

If you are asking the question, “Am I too young to write a will?” and need advice, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@gunstons.com.

Images courtesy of Mister GC and Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Saneli Ngcobo

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