Now is the time to consider your estate planning

I previously suggested that there has been a massive rise in demand for wills and estate planning from people worried about COVID-19, as the awareness of mortality amid a pandemic increases.

Our specialist consultant, an estate planning expert, Dr Mervin Messias, urges you to immediately put your affairs in order.

He is prepared to have an e-meeting with you – without charge – to assess your unique estate planning needs. Planning for your estate is not a cookie cutter exercise (not one size fits all). Dr Messias will help you understand the estate planning process, for without understanding there can be no comfort.

While you are still capable, he will assist you to put together all the estate planning documents you need, such as a will, a living will, a power of attorney, and living trust, depending on your exclusive requirements.

Especially in these uncertain times, don’t ask: “Why do today what I can put off until tomorrow?”  In estate planning, tomorrow may instantly become today.  Statistically, there may be a tomorrow, but don’t plan on it!  Planning now is mandatory.

Almost everything can be achieved remotely while we are under lockdown. It is time to be proactive. Estate planning is a process that begins within your life and can continue far after death.  It is not unique or indigenous to any economic class. How often we have heard. “Estate planning for me?  Heavens, I don’t need an estate plan!  I have so little.”  Really?  No loved ones, no disposition towards a favourite family member, close friend, or institution (charitable or otherwise)?  No insurance, property or insurance plan?  No personal possessions, mementos, or family heirlooms that require a loving pass-on?  No debts?

These are some of the issues he will chat to you about:

  • Estate planning involves people: spouses, children, grandchildren, favourite family members and close friends; their security and prosperity without you. It is taxes: income, death and gift.  It is lawyers, accountants, insurance people, banks and financial planners.  It is society’s rules along with red tape and courts of law that accompany those rules.  It is a world of advisors busily accomplishing things that most people do not understand.  It is time and money!
  • Estate planning involves creating and maintaining a lifestyle for you and your family while you are alive and for your loved ones after your death.  It involves the sacrifice of Rands to purchase life insurance or to invest in a portfolio, in lieu of personal indulgences, with the sincere belief that you are creating security for you and your loved ones.

He always asks our clients, “What do you want done with your property and insurance after you’re gone?”  The responses have been different, but they all contained thoughts that could be summarised as follows:

“I would like to give my property to whom I want, in precisely the way I want.  Further, I wish my beneficiaries to receive my property when I wish them to receive it.  But and this is very important to me, I want to save every last tax rand in accomplishing my objectives.  Oh yes, I also want to avoid, or at least reduce, attorneys’ fees and court costs.  Finally, I don’t want myself or my family involved in a lot of red tape that prevents my objectives from being accomplished quickly.”

If you want Dr Messias to contact you, please email info@bmalaw.co.za and we’ll set up the free chat or e-meeting.

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