South Africans are quite happy to spend a few thousand rand on a night out on the town but holds back when it comes to paying the same sum to have a Last Will and Testament drafted.
Recently, I asked one of my clients whether he was prepared to pay more for a meal at a fancy restaurant than what he would pay me to draft his Last Will and Testament. Without hesitancy he replied: “Yes definitely, the meal is well worth it, and you should draft my Will for free because my estate is not complicated.”
WILL OR MEAL
The cost of a Will can be free or charged on a professional/client basis and, the amount charged depends on whom is appointed as executor. Attorneys may offer will drafting services for free, but this is generally on the understanding that they will be appointed as executor of the estate and be paid the executor’s fees.
Luke Dale Roberts’ iconic restaurant The Test Kitchen in Woodstock, Cape Town offers a tasting menu with wine pairing at between R2,250.00 to R3,500.00 per person. Before Covid-19, The Test Kitchen was booked out months in advance.
Purchasing an online Will kit or a ready-to-fill out Will from your local stationary store is far less expensive than using a lawyer, but you get what you pay for. These ready to sign Wills tend to be generic, and do not address specific and unique needs. A professional Wills drafter is well versed in the disciplines of the legal requirements of a Will, the implications of how you are married (or not married) and the various taxation laws that impact on your estate.
Considering the knowledge required to draft a Will properly, paying for the good advice when having your Will drafted by a professional is a small price to pay.
You are not paying for the document itself (the paper and the ink), you are paying for the benefits of having a qualified professional prepare your Will.