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Where there's a will there's a way out for one's family

By unknown | Sep 09, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Isaac Moledi

Isaac Moledi

Most black people avoid drawing up a will, dismissing this as a "white thing" or something meant for the rich.

Not true. A will helps identify the person who will attend to your affairs when you die.

It is a document that ensures that the special people in your life, your loved ones, will receive what you want them to have in the form and proportions that you wish.

Financial experts say a legally valid will is an essential part of any well-constructed financial plan.

This is a document that only comes into operation after your death.

It is used to distribute our property to the people you consider most deserving of inheriting it.

Dying without leaving a legally valid will is known as dying "intestate". And that can have some serious consequences, says Jenny Gordon of Old Mutual.

"In such cases the law determines how our property is to be distributed - to whom, and in what proportions," Gordon says.

If you fail to leave a legally valid will any money due to your minor children has to be paid into the officially administered Guardian's Fund until the child reaches the legal age of majority.

There are some disadvantages to this.

Firstly, Gordon says, the rate of interest in the Guardian's Fund is comparatively low.

Secondly, you mighty have wanted the child to receive the money at some other date.

"So when you have a legally valid will you also have the peace of mind of knowing that your property will be divided and distributed after your death - exactly as you wanted," she says.

"A will must be reviewed regularly and, if necessary, changed and adapted to meet our changing circumstances as we go through life."


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