Get your basic will drafted for free by an attorney during National Wills Week: 13 to 17 September 2021

Many South Africans do not have wills. The coronavirus emphasised why it is important to have an updated will. Last year, many could unfortunately not get their wills done due to lockdown restrictions, whilst many have died without wills (intestate).

Because we find ourselves in such unprecedented times, we must ensure that we have a legally sound will. This ensures that there are no competing claims on your estate when you pass away and your intention to your dependents is followed.

The LSSA initiated Wills Week, with the support of key stakeholders, to ensure that members of the public have their wills drafted by practising attorneys, who have the necessary knowledge and expertise to ensure that your will is valid by complying with all the legal requirements in the Wills Act.

The LSSA has noted many other persons who are not legal practitioners use LSSA’s Wills Week for advertising their services. Please note that they are not part of the LSSA Wills Week.

The LSSA’s Wills Week presents the ideal opportunity to get your will done. Members of the public will be able to have a basic will drafted by an attorney free of charge during National Wills Week from 13 to 17 September 2021. Attorneys’ firms throughout the country are participating in the National Wills Week campaign. Please ensure that you register for a free will with an attorney or a law firm.

‘If you are a parent, a breadwinner, a homeowner and generally want to ensure that your affairs are in order, it is important that you have a valid will drafted by a professional. A valid will allows you to state your last wishes, who should inherit your assets and property, to appoint an executor of your choice for your estate and a guardian for your minor children’, says Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) President, Jan van Rensburg.

‘By ensuring that you have a valid will, you as the testator can protect the interests of your loved ones and ensure that there is no delay in settling your estate after your death, and not add undue hardships for your loved ones. It also ensures that your executor will act according to your wishes as set out in your will,’ adds Mr van Rensburg.

During National Wills Week from 13 to 17 September 2021, attorneys participating in the initiative will display posters with their contact details so that members of the public can make appointments with attorneys in their area. In addition, the contact details and addresses of all participating attorneys can be accessed on the LSSA website.

What you should provide to the attorney for your will to be drafted
• Your ID document
• A list of what you own (including specific personal items that you wish to bequeath to specific people)

•A list of beneficiaries and their ID numbers.

Before the consultation with your attorney, think about
• Who must get what?
• Who should be the legal guardians of your minor children (those under 18)?
• Who should be the executor of your will? This could be your attorney or a close family member or friend. If you decide on a family member or friend, it is advisable also to nominate the attorney as co-executor as the attorney will deal with any legal issues. The executor must be approved by the Master of the High Court.

Why should an attorney draft your will?
A practising attorney has the necessary knowledge and expertise to ensure that your will is valid by complying with all the legal requirements in the Wills Act, and importantly that it complies with your wishes. An attorney can also advise you on any problem which may arise with your will and assist your executor. Often a will is not valid because the person who drafts it does not have the necessary legal knowledge to ensure that all the legal requirements of the Wills Act are met. These include the fact that the will must be in writing, it must be signed by the testator in the presence of at least two competent witnesses and signed by the witnesses etc.

What could happen to your estate if you die without a valid will?
If you die without leaving a valid will, your assets will be distributed according to the provisions of the Intestate Succession Act. These provisions are generally fair and ensure that your possessions are transferred to your spouse and children, and where applicable, to siblings, parents, and if required, then to the extended family in terms of degrees of relationships and those that were dependent on you for financial support.

The following issues may arise if you die without leaving a will:
• Your assets may not be left to the person of your choice.
• It can take a longer time to have an executor appointed. The executor who is appointed may be somebody you may not have chosen yourself.
• There could be extra and unnecessary costs.
• There could be unhappiness and conflict among members of your family because there are no clear instructions on how to distribute your assets.

Where to find an attorney to draft your will:
The contact details of attorneys participating in the National Wills Week project can be accessed on the LSSA website at


LSSA Communications:
Nomfundo Jele Tel: (012) 366 8800 or 072 402 6344