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It is important for property owners to have a will in place to ensure the certainty of their assets, including their houses, for their loved ones in the future. Beneficiaries of the City of Cape Town’s Kleinvlei housing project, therefore, had the opportunity to draft their own wills under the guidance of Councillor Brett Herron, Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development, who is a lawyer by profession. 

Approximately 50 first-time property owners, who received State-subsidised homes in the City’s Kleinvlei housing project, have been empowered by learning about the value of having a will in place to ensure the future certainty of their assets for their loved ones.

The beneficiaries gathered at the Kleinvlei Community Centre where Councillor Brett Herron, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development and a lawyer by profession, led the session and also demonstrated how to draft a will. The beneficiaries were then afforded the opportunity to pen their own wills under Councillor Herron’s guidance.

Property owners Sarah Beukes and Mary Klaartjies were very relieved to have drafted their wills.

‘When people pass away, there tends to be lots of disagreements. With a will in place, everyone will know what the person’s wishes were, and that will make it easier and more comfortable for the family,’ said Mrs Beukes, 62.

Mrs Klaartjies, 46, who is in a wheelchair, said she and her husband have been wanting to draft a will.

‘I am disabled and my husband is blind. This has been something that we have been wanting to do for a while. I am so glad for this opportunity. Everyone must make an effort to have a will in place to look after their children,’ said Mrs Klaartjies.

In November 2017, Councillor Herron handed over several title deeds to beneficiaries in the Kleinvlei housing project and at that event spoke of the importance and responsibility of owning a home. He reminded the beneficiaries of the importance of having a will to ensure that these valuable assets are passed down to their children or grandchildren in later years. Being a lawyer by profession, he offered to return and explain to the beneficiaries how to draft a will. Through their local representative, Councillor Sharlaine Oerson, several beneficiaries requested this assistance.  

‘I am very pleased to see that so many beneficiaries have voluntarily come here to be assisted with the drafting of their wills. It is important to remember that a house provides a family with a place to belong and a roof over their heads, but it is also a valuable financial asset which needs to be protected.

‘A will, therefore, is more than just a piece of paper. It is a very important document, which, in your absence, conveys to your loved ones your wishes for your assets, including your house,’ said Councillor Herron. 

Generally, the City runs consumer housing education workshops for all beneficiaries of State-subsidised Breaking New Ground (BNG) houses before they move into their homes in an effort to prepare them for their new roles as property owners. One of the topics discussed is wills. 

‘It is always very heart-warming to empower some of our most vulnerable residents as first-time property owners when they receive their houses and title deeds. However, with the exciting opportunity and the new journey comes great responsibility. As the rightful property owners, they are now responsible for maintaining and managing their homes. This responsibility includes ensuring that they have a will in place to secure their assets, such as their houses, for their loved ones in the future.

‘Generally, death is not something we really want to think about but it is inevitable. We therefore need to put measures in place, such as having a will, so that, when the day comes, our loved ones who are left behind will not struggle through the daunting process of having to wrap up the estate or risk losing what you have left behind for them. By having a will in place you are protecting the future of your family,’ said Councillor Herron.