A boy was left at a very tender age, his parents were involved in a car accident and they died on the spot. Boom! Boom! That was the end of his luxurious life and a journey into uncertainty. His parent's relatives all gathered to share his parent's belongings, some fought, and some were too greedy to even share the property with the child. Others thought of the child's welfare but they had no power to voice out what was right. "If only they had written a will none of this would be happening" one of the relative said feeling remorseful........
What is a will and why is it important for the beneficiaries??
A will is a legal document by which a person expresses their wish as to how their properties are to be distributed after death. After the will is duly executed in terms of the Wills Act it will be distributed to the Master's office and to the will writer's legal practitioner. You do not have to write a will just because you have many properties or assets in your name, not only rich and wealthy people write wills everyone can write stating their last wishes.
Not having a will entails that your immediate next of kin (Children, parents, brother, sister etc.) will have to suffer battles between relatives fighting for what you intended them to have. They will be fighting about who gets to keep the car, house or even money this might even disturb your beneficiaries physically, emotionally or even mentally yet there is a simple solution to solve all these predicaments. Writing a will does not necessarily mean that you will be dying tomorrow it's just a simple way of securing the future of your beneficiaries. Since we do not know when we will breath our last breath it is very important to hit the iron while its hot (writing a will whilst you still can).
ADVANTAGES OF WRITING A WILL
- Your intentions will be known
- It entitles to conclusiveness of estate
- Avoids lengthy process of winding up of estate at the Master's office
- Avoids property grabbing
- Honours the true and specific wishes of the deceased
DISADVANTAGES OF NOT WRITING A WILL
- The law will decide how your estate will be distributed.
- If you are not married your partner is not legally entitled to anything when you die.
- Family disputes
- External legal cost for your beneficiaries (with no protection your beneficiaries might have to find a lawyer to contest the laws of intestacy and it can be costly)
- Any inheritance Tax that your estate has to pay might be higher than that it would be if you had made a will.
The major piece of legislation that deals with wills in Zimbabwe is the wills act chapter 6:06. It governs will writing in Zimbabwe and it also brings out what constitutes a valid will.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.