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.