A Will secures your heirs' future

Image: 123RF/ zimmytws

A report released last September during the National Wills Week, confirmed that over 70% of the working population do not have a will. Why?

Some people will say it's because "I do not have much assets". That is wrong.

Do you want the court to decide on your behalf who should get what?

I would like to believe that the answer is "No" as you would want to make sure that the people you want to benefit from your assets actually benefit.

When you die without a will, it's called "dying intestate", which means the court decides what happens with your assets.

Your children might end up in the custody of people that they do not want to raise them.

Take note of the benefits of having a will:

  •  A will ensures that you can choose your own heir or heirs;
  •  To avoid your assets being inherited by individuals you don't deem worthy, and
  •  You can give specific instructions.

A will is one of the most important documents you will ever sign, therefore you will need to get someone experienced to draft it for you, such as a financial advisor or an attorney.

You will need to prepare the following information when drafting a will:

  •  Personal details with contact numbers
  •  Spouse details (if applicable)
  •  How are you married? In or out of community of property (with or without accrual - if applicable)
  •  Children details from current marriage or out of wedlock
  •  List of assets which can include property, cash, investments and life policies payable to the estate
  •  List of liabilities

Special instructions such as:

  • Specific inheritances such as cash payments, property, vehicles or other assets you want to leave to particular family members or friends;
  •  Giving details of how you would like your funeral to be carried out, and
  •  Name a guardian for your children.

You also have an option to create a trust to protect your children's inheritance. Ask for more details on how to create it.

Ask about the fees such as executor's fees and safe custody of the will.

Make sure the correct procedure has been followed and that the will is signed and witnessed.

Also make sure that your loved ones or people you trust know where your will is because if no one knows about it then your last wishes cannot be followed or implemented.

There are also cheaper ways to do this as some institutions do offer a free online will which will not give you the option to give your special instructions, but you will be able to leave the entire estate to your spouse or children or both.

Review your will whenever you have a big life change like getting married, the birth of a child, divorce or purchasing property as this is an ongoing process.

*Zaba is the owner of Tokoloho
Financial Services, an insurance brokerage holding several insurance licences and is the co-author of Save Invest Prosper. She is an executive member of the Financial Services Intermediaries Network, working on policy within the insurance industry

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