Press release by the Fiduciary Institute of SA (FISA)
19 June 2012
Use an expert to draft your will
The Fiduciary Institute of South Africa (FISA) has stressed the need for members of the public to use a qualified person to draw up their will.
This follows a recent Supreme Court decision on the disputed interpretation of a will after the testator’s death as it, amongst other things, did not adhere to the formalities required in drafting a will (Raubenheimer v Raubenheimer and Others (560/2011)  ZASCA 97 (1 June 2012). Clearly frustrated by the frequency of such disputes, Judge JA Leach started his judgment with the unusual comment:
“It is a never ending-source of amazement that so many people rely on
untrained advisors when preparing their wills, one of the most important documents they are ever likely to sign.”
Angélique Visser, Chairperson of FISA, said that members of the public could consider using a FISA member to draft their will as they would then be assured of a minimum high standard and protection from unscrupulous practitioners.
“FISA has over 700 individual members, drawn from trust companies and banks, as well as the legal, accounting and financial planning professions. FISA’s objectives are to raise the standards of fiduciary practice in South Africa and protect the public. Our members are required to adhere to the FISA code of ethics and if membership is terminated due to non compliance, this is published on FISA’s website and in the media”, she said.
Ms Visser said that FISA encourages every South African to have a will. The institute advises against do-it-yourself wills, as even the simplest of wills needs to be understood in the context of a person’s particular affairs. Furthermore, wills need to adhere to certain formalities such as signing in the presence of two witnesses. If these formalities were not adhered to, there was no guarantee that the will would stand up in a court of law.
To find a FISA practitioner in your area, email email@example.com
Angélique Visser, FISA Chairperson on (011) 303-5116 or 082 565 3565
Aaron Roup, FISA Secretary on (011) 294 8262 or 082 449 2569
Or Lucy Reyburn of .word
082 922 7483
NOTES TO EDITORS
The Fiduciary Institute of South Africa (FISA) is a non-profit organisation that represents fiduciary practitioners and sets high minimum standards for the industry to protect the public’s interests.
One of FISA’s main objectives is to protect the public, by promoting excellence and professionalism in the fiduciary industry through a competency certification program for members. Certification attests that the practitioner has achieved the required level of education, experience, knowledge and skills required by FISA to practise as a specialist and professional in the trust and personal financial services industry. Members are also encouraged to write the recently introduced annual FISA examinations which have been made possible through a partnership with the University of the Free State’s Centre for Financial Planning Law. On passing this exam, members are awarded the FPSA® designation (Fiduciary Practitioner SA).
FISA also has a Code of Ethics and Disciplinary Code that emphasise the conduct, competency, knowledge, professionalism, integrity, objectivity and responsibility of each person accepted as a member. The public can be assured that the Disciplinary Committee, currently chaired by Arnold Shapiro, is not afraid of acting against members who do not adhere to FISA’s Code of Ethics. Memberships have been terminated, details of which can be found on FISA’s website.
Whilst enhancing the professional image, reputation and credibility of the trust industry, FISA also plays an important role in educating the public through educational articles and discussions in the media.
For more information about FISA visit www.www.fisa.net.za