Your will is probably the most important document you’ll ever sign. A will, which is more commonly known as a last will and testament, is a legal document that stipulates how and to whom your assets (for example your property/ies, cars, jewellery, investments etc.), should be distributed when you die. Your will would include detail of your last wishes, such as whether you want to be buried or cremated and who you wish to be your children’s guardian, should you pass away while they are still young. A person writes a will while still alive and its instructions are only carried out once the individual dies. A will also names a person as the executor of the estate, and that person is responsible for administering the estate. It is important that you make sure your will complies with the Wills Act to ensure it is valid. The principle of freedom of testation is one of the cornerstones of the law of succession in South Africa. This principle allows the testator or testatrix to distribute their assets to whomever they wish. There are, however, laws that determine how a deceased estate is administered (distributed) when someone dies intestate, which is without a will. When you have a valid will, you provide guidance on how your estate should be administered, once all the relevant legislation such as the Children’s Act and Maintenance of Surviving Spouse have been considered. Documenting your last and final wishes in your will allows you to exercise your freedom of testation, regardless of how complex or simple your familial relations and financial obligations may be. Too many people put off this important task until it's too late, which can have devastating consequences for your loved ones.