Will is the most common way for people to state their preferences about how their estates should be handled after their deaths. It is a legal document containing a statement of an individual’s wishes and intents to take effect following his death, and which can be revoked. Many people use their wills to express their deepest sentiments toward their loved ones. You can protect the people you love most, choose guardians for minor children, and make gifts to family, friends and charities.
Making a valid Last Will and Testament is the only way to ensure that your property passes to people of your choosing rather than to people chosen by the Courts based on laws that are decades old. Without a will, the estate can be subject to many problems. Relatives may also dispute over property, leading to lengthy court proceedings, and a probate judge who does not know your personal wishes will dictate who gets your property and custody of your children after your death.
By having a valid Last Will and Testament, you will have full control over how your assets (i.e. your estate) are managed and distributed after your death and who will look after your children when you are no longer around to do so. The clear terms of last will require no clarification and in the event they can be interpreted in several ways, the intent of the testator must be determined rather than interpreting the text literally.
A last will cannot be made by two or more individuals in one legal document, whether it is in favor of a third party mutual or reciprocal arrangement. Everyone with property who have reached the full age of 18 years are allowed to make wills. The competence of the testator shall be judged based on the condition that he was in at the time that the last will was made. In a last wills, conditions which are unintelligible or impossible, or which violates tha laws and good morals, shall be regarded as void. Last wills which made as a result of duress, deceit or cunning shall be invalid.
The Legitimate Portion
The legitimate portion or the legal share of the inheritance is that portion of the estate which the lawful heirs in a direct line are entitled to and which the testator is not entitled to dispose of as a gift during his lifetime or by last will.
In relation to the descending line, if the testator leaves only one legal child, the legal share of the inheritance shall consist of half of the property which the child would be entitled to inherit upon death. In the event that there are two children, the legal share of the inheritance for each child shall be two thirds of whatever they would be entitled to inherit upon death. In the event that the deceased has left three or more children, then the legal share of the inheritence shall be three fourths of whatever each child should have inherited upon death. Children shall include the descendants, in any kind of degree; they shall, however only be regarded as substitutes for the child whom they represent in the inheritance of the testator. Meanwhile, in the ascending line, the legal share of inheritance shall always consist of one half of that which is by law due, upon death, to each blood relative in that line.
For the purpose of calculating the legal share, regard shall be had to those individuals who upon the death of an individual have become heirs to his estate but who have not been named as legatees under his will, and in the event that individuals other than the aforementioned heirs have been granted a share in excess of their legal share by deed during the lifetime of the deceased or by last will, provided that the aforementioned heirs were not present, the devises and gifts may be reduced upon a claim and in favor of the legatees and heirs or those entitled.
In the absence of blood relatives in the ascending and descending line, and of natural, legally acknowledged children, gifts by inter vivo deed or by last will, shall be deemed to be of the entire estate.