A tailor made will and antenuptial contract (ANC), drafted by a professional, may protect you or those you love from expensive litigation and financial loss at a later stage during your marriage.
Your will determines what happens to your estate after your death. The maintenance and care of your minor children and other dependents are also determined by provisions of your will.
After your death you are not able to make decisions regarding your estate or make your desires known to those around you. The execution of a will is therefore imperative to ensure that your wishes are fulfilled and your loved ones are protected.
Giving verbal instructions to family members who will be in a state of grief at the time of your death is ineffective. Further, drafting a will yourself and not complying with all the legally required formalities may render the will completely invalid (which means you intestate succession automatically applies).
South Africa’s laws concerning the selection of a marital property regime are not simple and every couple should make an informed decision about the matrimonial property regime which will best suit them.
Our law stipulates that, if a valid ANC is not concluded prior to the marriage then the parties are automatically married in community of property. Failure to conclude the contract prior to the marriage will result in the need for a High Court application to change the marital property regime after the marriage with no guarantee that the court will allow it. Such an application is extremely costly.
Being married out of community of property has many benefits and serves to ensure that each spouse’s estate (assets and liabilities) remains separate and that the debts and liabilities of one spouse does not impact the other.
Couples may include any clauses they wish into their antenuptial contract, however, they need to ensure that such clauses are not contrary to public policy, unlawful or immoral. Where the parties do not wish for the accrual system to apply this must be specifically stated, failing which it will be included automatically.
THE IMPORTANCE OF GETTING PROFEESIONAL ASSISTANCE:
Should a couple choose to enter into an antenuptial contract, it is crucial that an expert who has taken the couples specific requirements and circumstances into consideration, draft the contract and ensure the proper registration thereof accordingly.
A will is an extremely valuable document which contains important information and should therefore be validly executed with the assistance of a professional to ensure that your wishes are correctly carried out. Your will speaks for you when you cannot and it can only do so if it is validly executed. A will which is not valid is unenforceable and you