User Guide

HOW WILLS FACTORY WORKS

Preparing to Create a Will

Important Notes

  • Plan your will to be as straightforward as possible.
  • Should circumstances demand it, get expert assistance.
  • It is generally not advisable to draw up your own will, unless of course you are an expert.
  • Make sure that your will is feasible.
  • Be practical in the distribution of your assets.
  • Where possible, avoid commanding directives in your will.
  • Make sure that you understand the consequences of your will.
  • Nominate a guardian in your will if you have minor children.
  • Make provision for any maintenance obligations that you may have in terms of a divorce order.
  • It is advisable to not describe funeral arrangements in your will.

Information You Should Have Ready

Before you begin to draw up your will, or request for it to be drawn up, you should know exactly what you want your will to stipulate, and what you need to provide in order for the will to be valid and effective. Below is a list of items and information to be gathered before drawing up your will:

  • The name and identification details of the executor of your estate.
  • The name and ID number of your spouse and how you are married (in community of property, out of community of property, etc.).
  • Copy of a marriage certificate. Did you divorce recently? If so, a copy of the decree of divorce and settlement agreement will be required.
  • The full names and ID numbers of all your children including adopted and stepchildren, you wish to benefit from your Will.
  • The names and ID numbers of any grandchildren you would like included.
  • The name and contact details of a guardian in case you have minor children.
  • Details of the assets you wish to be donated to institutions such as a church, hospice, orphanage, etc.
  • Details of any other party or institution you wish to benefit.
  • Copies of title deeds in respect of immovable properties in South Africa or mortgage bonds thereof.
  • Copies of insurance policies, such as endowment policies, life policies, credit life policies etc.
  • An inventory of liabilities.

Creating a Free Will Online

Please note that our Free Will is suitable for an individual that has no special requirements in terms of his/her estate. The process outlined below includes a quick point-and-click questionnaire that provides basic direction as to which type of will is suitable for you.

Using the Wills Factory Online Will Generator

  • On the Wills Factory website, begin by selecting any of the following:
    • The “Will Options” menu item under “Solutions” in the primary menu above the page header;
    • The “Go Ahead it’s Easy” button in the “Three Easy Steps” section below the front page header;
    • Any “Create My Will” button found on various pages throughout the website;
    • Click here now (opens in a new browser tab so you can keep this document open).
  • This will redirect you to a simple click-only questionnaire (“Will Interview”), which you should complete and submit.
  • The next page (“Will Options”) contains a recommendation in terms of which will you should ideally have, based on the results of the questionnaire, and also a comparison table with the features of our Free Will and Advanced Will for your perusal.
  • To use the Online Will Generator for the Free Will, select the “Create My Free Will” button below the “Free” column.
  • Complete the simple four-page form, selecting the “Next >>” button below each page. To return to a previous page to inspect or make changes, select the “<< Previous” button below each page.
  • On the last page of the form you will be asked to create a Username and Password. At the completion of this form a membership account will automatically be created for you, for two reasons:
    1. To add an extra level of security for the safeguarding of your personal information;
    2. To save your will information online, should you ever wish to return and edit your will.
  • When you have completed the form to your satisfaction, select the “Generate My Will >>” button below the page.
  • Next, a message will be displayed congratulating you on creating your Free Will. At this stage your will has then been emailed to you, but you are also provided with links to download the will and signing instructions right away. Your membership account has also been created and you have been automatically logged in as a “Free Will Member.” Please save your Username and Password in a safe place.
  • This concludes your use of the Will Generator.

Signing Instructions

The signing of your will involves three people:

  • You;
  • Two witnesses.

Please note that you and both witnesses must all be present throughout the signing process.

WITNESSES

A witness must be:

  • over 18;
  • someone who is not an executor or beneficiary of your will;
  • unrelated to you or to anyone mentioned in your will either by blood, marriage or by civil partnership.

Your witnesses should preferably be your age or younger, to make it more likely that they will be alive at your death in case they are required to give evidence about the signing of your Will. Your witnesses may be related to each other.

Before signing your will, you should read it through carefully. It is not necessary for your witnesses to read your will, although they should be made aware that it is your will they are witnessing.

PROCEDURE

In the presence of your 2 witnesses and in the spaces provided:

  • sign your name using your “usual” signature on each page where provided, whilst your witnesses watch;
  • ask your two witnesses to add their “usual” signatures on each page, and print their names and addresses clearly for identification purposes on the last page;
  • date the will on the last page, for example: “at Cape Town on the 4th day of July 2017.”

Carefully check your will to ensure that everyone signed wherever necessary, that all information is provided and that the last page is dated.

Amending Your Free Will Online

If any amendments are necessary at the time of signing it is better to edit the will online and print out a new copy. If for any reason this is impractical, then the amendment should be made before you sign and the amendment should be initialled by you and both your witnesses. No alterations should be made after the will is signed.

To amend your will:

  • Make sure you’re logged in to the Wills Factory website;
  • In the top menu, select Member Area > My Membership Dashboard;
  • Click on the Create/Edit My Will button;
  • Scroll to the bottom of the next page and click on the Amend My Free Will button;
  • Make the necessary edit(s), and follow the rest of the steps as when creating a new Free Will.

Safekeeping of Your Free Will

When the formalities are complete:

  • copy the will document and be sure to mark it as “Copy”;
  • place the will in a secure place, noting the location;
  • write the location of the original will document on the copy;
  • inform your executor, spouse (if applicable) and witnesses of the place where your will is kept.

Other Notes

If you feel that the Free Will is inadequate to address the requirements of your estate, consider upgrading to the Advanced Will which is drawn up by one of our experienced consultants. Our consultant will also be able to give you sound advice concerning your will and estate.

To upgrade to an Advanced Will:

  • Make sure you’re logged in to the Wills Factory website;
  • In the top menu, select Member Area > My Membership Dashboard (if you are not already there);
  • Click on the Create/Edit My Will button;
  • Scroll to the bottom of the next page and click on the Upgrade to Advanced Will button.
  • Follow the steps as described here.

Requesting an Advanced Will

The unique character of your estate might disqualify our Free Will is an adequate solution for you. In that case, do consider an Advanced Will. Our Advanced Will is not generated online (although you provide some basic information online), but expertly prepared for you by one of our knowledgeable consultants.

Features and Benefits of an Advanced Will

  • Free Telephonic Consultation
    Our expert legal advisors are a phone call away for advice/direction with regard to your will.
  • Collection & Storage
    Once your Will has been duly signed by yourself and your witnesses, we will arrange to collect it from you and store it in a secure facility until needed for execution or until superseded by another. This is optional, but required if Wills Factory is to be the Executor of your estate.
  • Wills Factory is Executor
    Wills Factory is appointed as the Executor of your estate. In the event of your death one of our team of legal advisors, or a third party associate, will be appointed to preside over the execution of your estate.
  • Free Amendments for Life (just pay delivery/collection)
    If your will is kept by us in storage with your Advanced Will Account kept in good standing, and Wills Factory remains appointed as the Executor of your estate, you are free to request unlimited amendments of your will, done to your satisfaction by qualified legal professionals. The only fees incurred by yourself per amendment will be for delivery (for signature) and collection (for processing and storage).
  • NO Executor’s Fee with an Estate Liquidity Plan
    Our voluntary Estate Liquidity Plan will protect your estate against the impact of Executor’s Fees and other expenses.
  • Assets & Liabilities Register
    Add and/or edit a register of your assets and liabilities. Keep it up to date and it will be available to Wills Factory when it comes to executing your will. This makes the administration simpler and could significantly speed up the execution of your estate, to the benefit of your heirs.
  • e-Vault
    Keep information and/or documents safe online and available to you, your will Executor and/or your surviving loved ones.
  • Advanced Professional Advice
    Advice and strategic planning around:

    • guardians and guardianship
    • the implications of donations
    • saving on estate duty
    • testamentary trusts
    • insolvency of heirs
    • usufructuary interest
  • 4me Lifestyle Mall Access
    Our 4me Lifestyle Mall is filled to the brim with fantastic products and amazing offers. Do your shopping, eating out, movies etc. at great discounts.

Using the Advanced Will Request Form

  • On the Wills Factory website, begin by selecting any of the following:
    • The “Will Options” menu item under “Solutions” in the primary menu above the page header;
    • The “Go Ahead it’s Easy” button in the “Three Easy Steps” section below the front page header;
    • Any “Create My Will” button found on various pages throughout the website;
    • Click here now (opens in a new browser tab so you can keep this document open).
  • This will redirect you to a simple click-only questionnaire (“Will Interview”), which you should complete and submit.
  • The next page (“Will Options”) contains a recommendation in terms of which will you should ideally have, based on the results of the questionnaire, and also a comparison table with the features of our Free Will and Advanced Will for your perusal.
  • To use the Request Form for the Advanced Will, select the “Select an Advanced Will” button below the “Advanced” column.
  • Complete the simple five-page form, selecting the “Next >>” button below each page. To return to a previous page to inspect or make changes, select the “<< Previous” button below each page.
  • In the process of completing the form you will be asked to create a Username and Password. At the completion of this form a membership account will automatically be created for you, for two reasons:
    1. To add an extra level of security for the safeguarding of your personal information;
    2. To save your will information online, should you ever wish to return and edit your will.
  • When you have completed the form to your satisfaction, select the “Next >>” button below the page.
  • You are transferred to a secure payment page of our payment processor, PayFast, for payment of the registration fee. This can be done through immediately verified bank EFT payment, or by credit card.
  • Upon successful payment of the registration fee, your membership account is created and you are automatically logged in as a “Free Will Member.” Please save your Username and Password in a safe place.
  • Your information is sent to one of our knowledgeable consultants who will liaise with you in order to draw up your will according to the specific requirements of your estate.
  • When your will has been drawn up to your satisfaction, it is sent to you to be signed.
  • Once duly signed in front of two witnesses in accordance with the Signing Instructions, you should contact us and we’ll send our courier to collect your will for processing and safekeeping.

Registration Fee and Monthly Payment

The Advanced Will is a paid membership for which the client receives the following benefits:

  1. For the Registration Fee:
    • Liaison, advising and drawing up of the will;
    • Delivery of the completed will to the client;
    • Collection of the signed will from the client and delivery to Wills Factory.
    • Scanning and electronic storage of the will;
    • Storage of the physical document in a secure location.
  2. For the Monthly Membership Fee:
    • Continued secure storage of the will, both electronically and the physical document;
    • Wills Factory is Executor of your estate;
    • No Executor Fees payable (waiver of the Executor Fees if Wills Factory remains the Executor of your estate until your death). Terms and conditions apply.
    • Access to the other Benefits of the Advanced Will membership.

Signing Instructions

The signing of your will involves three people:

  • You;
  • Two witnesses.

Please note that you and both witnesses must all be present throughout the signing process.

WITNESSES
A witness must be:

  • over 18;
  • someone who is not an executor or beneficiary of your will;
  • unrelated to you or to anyone mentioned in your will either by blood, marriage or by civil partnership.

Your witnesses should preferably be your age or younger, to make it more likely that they will be alive at your death in case they are required to give evidence about the signing of your Will. Your witnesses may be related to each other.

Before signing your will, you should read it through carefully. It is not necessary for your witnesses to read your will, although they should be made aware that it is your will they are witnessing.

PROCEDURE
In the presence of your 2 witnesses and in the spaces provided:

  • sign your name using your “usual” signature on each page where provided, whilst your witnesses watch;
  • ask your two witnesses to add their “usual” signatures on each page, and print their names and addresses clearly for identification purposes;
  • date the will on the last page, for example: “at Cape Town on the 4th day of July 2017.”

Advanced Will Terms and Conditions

Membership Fee:

  1. The monthly membership fee should be kept up to date and not interrupted.
  2. Should a payment not be met in one month, we will attempt to recover the payment a.s.a.p. (we understand that these things happen).
  3. Should we be unsuccessful in recovering the overdue payment, we will attempt a double debit for the following month, but access to the 4me Lifestyle Mall will be suspended right away pending a successful double debit.
  4. Should the double debit be unsuccessful for the following month, the membership will be suspended with immediate effect, and the member will be notified thereof.

Cancellation of Advanced Will Membership:

Both the member and Wills Factory has the right to terminate the Advanced Will membership upon one calendar month’s notice to the other party. This does not apply in the event of suspension of membership due to non-payment of fees, as outlined above.

In the Event of Suspension of Membership:

  • the membership remains dormant until the end of the month in which suspension had been effected;
  • both electronic and physical copies of the will remain in storage;
  • information and documents stored in the member’s Assets & Liabilities Register and e-Vault are kept until the end of the month in which suspension had been effected (this provides the member with the opportunity to download documents stored in the e-Vault if he/she does not intend to continue with the membership);
  • the member is given until the end of the month in which suspension had been effected to make arrangements for the payment of the overdue fees plus the fee that will be payable for the following month;
  • the membership is cancelled failing successful payment of all overdue and due payments by the end of the suspension month.

In the Event of Cancellation of Membership:

  • the physical policy document is removed from storage and sent to the member at the member’s expense (should the member want the document back);
  • the membership and all electronic information and documents are removed from Wills Factory’s servers;
  • Wills Factory would remain willing to act as Executor of the member’s estate, but the usual Executor’s Fee will be levied from the estate at the time.