As we rapidly move towards September, it’s a great time to start thinking about updating or formalizing your Will. September celebrates National Wills Week, a reminder to us all of the importance of having a Last Will and Testament. According to recent statistics, only 30% of South Africans have a Will – which means we have to be talking about this a lot more!
Regardless of how much or little you might be leaving behind; your Will is an essential element of a robust financial portfolio. If you have loved ones who depend on you financially or minor children who need to be cared for should you pass away unexpectedly, you would greatly benefit from a professionally drafted Will.
The dangers of DIY
Some may feel that it’s cheaper to simply write up their own Will and keep it as general as possible so that ‘everything is covered’. While this might be ok to start, the reality is that as life changes, so should your Will. Having a professionally drafted Will ensures that all aspects of your estate are taken care of.
Life-changing events such as getting married, starting a business, or having children, means you should be revising your Will, or putting one in place. There are certain legal concepts that become important in your Will which are triggered by these changes, including succession planning for businesses, testamentary trusts, and guardians for minor children. Without the proper legal knowledge, these aspects won’t be properly dealt with and may not reflect your true intentions when you pass away.
Even a small incorrect detail could leave your loved ones burdened with unnecessary additional costs and waiting months or even years to iron out the details – or worse, left without enough income to cover monthly expenses. Use of vague words and incorrect terms in your Will opens the door for disputes between heirs, different interpretations of your wishes and in some cases could result in part of your Will being invalid.
Having your Will professionally drafted takes the stress out of the process and ensures that there is no uncertainty about your estate and your wishes can be fulfilled when you pass away. For assistance with drafting or reviewing your Will, contact Bridget Witts-Hewinon at Curran Attorneys on 021 671 9322 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Taking the time to consider the implementation of your Will is important to understanding the holistic implications of the following areas in your estate planning:
- Financial planning – Life Cover, Investments, Retirement Funds, Medical Aid.
- Tax Implications – Estate duty, personal taxes, company tax liabilities.
- Business interests – Valuation and succession planning.
- Short term insurance – Ensuring the correct cover is in place for you and your business.
- Business Strategy – Having the correct plan of action in place to succeed post lockdown.
If you would like to be put in touch with a network of qualified professionals who can provide expertise in these areas please contact me.