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The discussion everyone avoids

Talking about your last Will and Testament can sometimes be so daunting for people that they rather decide not to have the discussion at all. In the process not realising what the implications will be for the love one’s they leave behind.

Your true legacy is not what you leave for people, but what you leave in people. The reality, however, is that leaving love ones behind to sort out a mess will damage your true legacy.

The implications of dying without a valid Will is devastating because the state then decides what will happen with your assets and more importantly with your children.

The reason for today’s article is simple. No matter if your married or not, how young or old, rich or poor you might be, if you’re reading this and you do not have a Will, or haven’t reviewed it in the last few years, you should take responsibility, confront the discussion that’s uncomfortable and get it done.

Consider the following when drafting a Will:

1. Make sure that your Will is valid;

  • A person must be over the age of 16 (sixteen) years.
  • The Will must be in writing and the person who writes the Will is not allowed to be mentioned as a beneficiary in that specific Will.
  • Each page of the Will, including the last page, must be signed by the testator. The Will must also be signed by two competent witnesses.

2. Get a professional to draw up your Will. One word that is wrongly used or interpreted can have significant implications.
3. Get professional advice on how to reduce the cost of your estate.
4. Ensure liquidity in your estate. If there isn’t sufficient cash to settle outstanding debts and estate expenses the executor may have no choice but to sell estate assets to raise the necessary cash.
5. Consider the use of a Testamentary Trust if you have minor children.
6. Your will should be reviewed annually.
7. Lastly, and sometimes most importantly, keep it simple.

Heinrich Coomans | CA(SA) | CFP ® is a director at Affluence Group and spesialises in Investments, Personal and Business Insurance. For any questions please contact him at heinrich@afgroup.co.za or 084 586 9509.

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