Why should you have a will?
By writing a will you guarantee that your assets are dealt out in accordance with your wishes after you pass away. This is called “freedom of testation” and is protected by law.
Why should an attorney make up your will?
Attorneys can counsel you regarding any problem that may arise with regards to your will. Attorneys have the necessary knowledge and skill to make sure that your will is valid and complies with your demands. Often a will is not valid because the person who drafted it did not have the necessary legal knowledge to make sure that the requirements of the law are adhered to.
What will happen to your estate if you pass away without a valid will?
If you pass away before you can draft a valid will, all your assets will be circulated according to the stipulations of the Intestate Succession Act. The rules set out by this Act are generally regarded as fair and make sure that your possessions are reassigned to your spouse and/or children.
However, the following issues might occur if you pass away without leaving a valid will:
- It can take a very long time to appoint an executor. This executor may be somebody you may not have chosen yourself.
- Your assets might not be given to the person of your choice.
- There can be unnecessary extra costs.
- There may be discontent and fighting among family members due to the fact that there are no clear instructions on how to allocate your assets.
Estate planning is an essential part of financial planning. Your ‘estate’ means everything you own (your assets and any assets deemed to be yours) and do not own (your liabilities). Estate planning is all about how you intend to dispose of your assets (after paying off your liabilities) when you die. The more complex your finances, the more essential it is that you get expert advice.
Personal information for your survivors upon your death or becoming incapacitated.
Please complete and print the Wishes and Memories booklet that is a clear record of your funeral wishes, a source of important documents for legal and public records, and a permanent keepsake of your fondest memories to speak to future generations. Follow the advice in this article as well.