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Ten quick facts about writing a last Will and Testament

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  • The person who draws up a will is called the testator/testatrix.
  • Individuals 16 years old and over are able to draw up a will, granted that they are mentally capable of appreciating the consequence of their actions at the time.
  • Anyone 14 years and older, who are mentally capable at the time of the making of the will, can bear witness.
  • The testator must sign all the pages of the will anywhere on the page and the final page at the end.
  • The testator/testatrix must sign the will in the presence of two or more competent witnesses.
  • Those completing blanks in the will or signing as witnesses or their spouses are disqualified from benefiting from a Will.
  • When amending a will, it is not necessary for the same witnesses who signed the original to sign the updated will.
  • A codicil is a schedule or annexure to an existing will, which is made to supplement or amend an existing will.
  • A bequest to an ex partner made in a will before the divorce; will not necessarily fall away after the divorce. The Wills Act states that, unless you specifically provide otherwise, a bequest to ones divorced spouse will be cancelled if one dies within three months of the divorce.
  • If the testator/testatrix cannot sign his/her name, he/she may ask someone to sign the will on his/her behalf or he/she can sign the will by making a mark (a thumbprint or a cross).

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