Everyone should have a Will, however ex-South Africans with young children should really give immediate attention to the issue.
Most ex-South Africans now living in Perth, Australia have Wills that were prepared in South Africa at least 3 – 5 years ago which clearly do not meet their current circumstances of living in Australia.
An example of a South African Will that is out of date is if the person lives in Australia and yet their Will nominates people living in South Africa to be the guardians of their young children. In that situation, the question that every ex-South African parent of young children must answer is “Do they want their children to return to live in South Africa if both parents die?”
Every family has different circumstances and it may still be suitable for family, such as older parents, living in South Africa to care for a couple’s young children. However, if a couple has family or close friends living in Australia who could act as the guardian, then the couple should get a new Will and appoint the family or close friends in Australia. By doing such avoids the possibility of the children being sent back to live in South Africa.
If an ex-South African couple do not get new Wills to meet Australian requirements, it could cost the couple’s estate in legal fees if the couple die and the family or close friends living in Australia try and ‘undo’ the effect of the out dated South African Will.
The easiest and cheapest solution for every ex-South African parent with young children, is to get a new Will prepared in Australia and to choose a guardian for their young children that suits their children’s current circumstances.
We will be happy to assist all ex-South Africans to get an Australian Will to suit their current circumstances. We also work closely with Estate Planning lawyers in South Africa that can help prepare a Will for assets remaining in South Africa.