Are you part of the 75% of South Africans who do not have a valid Will?

Even though it is inevitable, passing on somehow seems like it is never going to happen. However, it is something that no one can avoid. What you can avoid is a messy situation where your assets are not distributed according to your last wishes, leaving your family vulnerable and exposed.

Charles Makondo, National Sales Manager at Iemas Insurance Brokers, answers a few questions about Wills and explains why so many South Africans do not have one.

What would you say is the main reason why I should have a Will?

The main reason is to make sure that you do not forfeit the opportunity to decide who inherits what and to make sure that your Estate is distributed according to South African law.

What are the consequences of not having a Will?

The main consequence of not having a Will is that people who you may not have wanted to benefit from your Estate could inherit your Estate. In addition, if you are not married then your partner could be left with nothing or if you are married and have a Will but you have not updated your Will since a previous marriage, then your spouse (or anyone else you may be supporting financially now) will not get anything.

So who will then control the distribution of my assets?

The Government is essentially in control of the process. Winding up your Estate can take years; without a Will you do not have a professional Executor which means that one will be appointed on your behalf which is a long process.

Won’t my children automatically inherit my assets if I do not have a Will?

Not necciserily. Your children’s inheritance could pass to the Government Guardian’s Fund or appointed Guardian rather than to a Trust that will ensure your wishes for them are carried out.

More than half of the population do not have a valid Will. What is the main reason for this?

The answer is quite simple but astonishing. A recent survey found that that the primary reason for people not finalising their Wills was that they “just don’t get around to it”. By taking just a few minutes out of your day by phoning your broker you can have a Will drafted and finalised in a week or less. Iemas can draft your Will at no cost to you so get in touch to set up an appointment today. National pandemics and disasters are unplanned and sometimes leave families exposed to sudden death – make sure your family is looked after properly in any event.

How to adjust your insurance to achieve optimal financial wellness.

The last quarter of 2020 is in full swing and little did we know what an interesting and strange year it would be. Apart from the many ups and downs personally as well as financially, most of us had to make drastic changes to our finances to adapt to salary reductions and loss of income. Piet Wolmarans Managing Director of Iemas Insurance Brokers answers a few questions on insurance during lockdown level 1 and beyond :

  1. I paused my vehicle insurance cover as I was not driving much due to the national lockdown. When should I re-instate my full cover?

It is advisable to re-instate your full insurance cover as soon as you start using your car regularly. Now that most businesses have returned or partially returned to the office, schools that are open and provincial travel that is allowed, most of us are travelling almost as much as we did before the national lockdown levels were instated. Also, it is very important to consider the conditions if your vehicle is financed as most motor vehicle loans require the vehicle to be insured – remember accidents can also happen at home. 

  • What will the implications be if I do not re-instate my full cover?

It depends on your policy, however most cover pause products only covers you for flood, fire and theft. Thus if you do not re-instate your full cover and you are involved in an accident, you will have to carry the full cost of the damage.

  • Should I get additional long-term insurance products such as funeral cover and life cover in light of the international pandemic?

It is always advisable to have life, funeral and disability cover. It is also important to make sure that your extended family is covered, should something happen to them. You should also have a valid Will so that your assets are evenly distributed when you are no longer there.

  • I am hesitant to see my broker due to safety concerns. Are there any alternatives available to review and update my policy?

Most insurers have a mobile app where you can access your profile to review and update your policy. Iemas Insurance Brokers also has an app for our vehicle and household insurance products, which is available on the Apple iStore and on Google Play. We also have a nifty online platform where you can take out life, funeral and disability cover in a matter of minutes, and you can decide how much you are willing to pay per month. You can also phone your broker for a telephonic consultation.

  • I am still struggling to cope financially as my salary was reduced, should I not consider cancelling my insurance?

It is never a good idea to cancel your insurance. We’ve had many clients who thought they could save a few rands by cancelling their insurance, only to find themselves in a position where shortly after they cancelled their insurance, their assets got stolen or they were involved in an accident. The same with funeral, life and disability cover. As the saying goes ‘nothing in life is certain except for death and taxes’, thus having long term insurance products are essential for when (and not if) you are no longer there. Rather consult your broker or insurer to discuss options available to you; there are insurance products available where you can pay less if you do not use your vehicle often.