We have a team of lawyers and other professionals at Rockwills with different areas of specialisation. This means that you have access not just to legal expertise but also accounting, finance and taxation resources. Our experienced Will Consultants will listen to your needs to determine what you need. We also have Will Custody services to provide the assurance that your Will is always kept in good condition and accessible only by those you have authorised. We are also licensed to provide trust services and comprehensive estate planning including offshore services which others may not be able to provide.
Making a Will ensures that upon your death, your assets will go to the people of your choice. If you die without having written a Will, also known as dying intestate, the state will decide how your assets will be distributed, which may not be what you want.
- It must be made by a person who is at least 18 years old
- It must be made by a person who is of sound mind
- It must be made voluntarily and without pressure from any other person
- It must be signed by:
- the person making the will in the presence of two witnesses
- the two witnesses in the presence of the person making the will
Note: A beneficiary or spouse should not be a witness to your Will.
If you die intestate, your assets will be distributed according to the Distribution Act 1958, which divides your assets according to a fixed proportion based on whether you leave behind a spouse, children and/or parents. Such distribution may not be to your liking. Also, the time taken to obtain letters of administration to administer an estate without a Will is considerably longer than obtaining a probate when there is a Will.
The duties of an Executor can be daunting and time consuming so you need to select your Executor carefully, or choose to appoint a company to perform the role. An Executor may be called upon to locate your beneficiaries, trace your assets and distribute them according to your instructions, arrange for the care of your children with the appointed Guardian and follow up on their welfare, plus carry out any other matters contained within your Will.
Before appointing your Executor you are advised to obtain the consent of the person to take on the role. There is no point appointing someone who will not be willing to take on the role as they have the right to renounce their Executorship.
A good idea is to choose someone younger than you and not someone older as he or she may predecease you or may not be capable of carrying out the tasks involved, in the event of your death.
Marriage & Divorce
If you have an existing Will, it will automatically be revoked upon your marriage or remarriage. An exception is where your Will expressly provides for an expected marriage in a ‘contemplation of marriage’ clause.
A divorce does not affect the validity of a Will. Hence if you named your ex-spouse as a beneficiary, this will continue to be so even if you are no longer married to each other. To change this, you will need to draw up a new Will.
Making a Will gives you the opportunity to say who you would like to bring up your children aged below 18 years, in the event of the death of both you and your spouse. The person you appoint is known as a Guardian.
You can set up a testamentary trust that comes into effect upon your death, with conditions such as a trustee holding the assets until your child reaches a certain age, or payments from your estate being made only upon your child achieving certain goals e.g. obtaining a university degree.