The important role of your Will in Estate Planning

According to the Master of the High Court, more than 70% of working South Africans don’t have a valid will in place. Making a will can be tough, especially since it means that you need to confront your mortality. However, your last will and testament is one of the most significant documents that you will ever sign! It lays the foundation for you to protect your loved ones and distribute your estate according to your wishes and discretion.

 

What role does your Will play in planning your Estate?

A lot of people assume that a will is the beginning and end of estate planning. This is incorrect. A will is, however, a critical part of estate planning. A will is a document which determines the distribution of one’s estate. Basically, it gives information regarding who the nominated beneficiaries of a person’s estate are.

 

Whereby an estate plan is more holistic in that it gives consideration to factors such as:

  • Your care and financial affairs should you become incapacitated
  • Disability income insurance to replace your income if you cannot work due to illness or injury
  • Making use of insurance products that can cover your debts and liabilities in the event of your passing
  • Cost of transfer of certain assets in your estate to your beneficiaries and several other costs which are related to the administration of your estate (such as the executors and Master of the High Court’s fees)

 

Basically, your will is the foundation, and your estate plan acts as a support to your will. Every person should have a Will, regardless of their asset value. A lot of people put off the drafting of their Wills until a certain event occurs, such as getting married, having a child, buying a car or buying a house.

I would encourage you to start with whatever you’ve got; at whatever life-stage. Knowing how to plan for and manage R1000, means you will be better equipped to manage your estate as it grows.

 

HOW DOES ONE GO ABOUT THE PROPER PLANNING OF THEIR ESTATE?

 

  • Firstly, have a Valid Will in place.

I cannot stress enough that your Will acts as the foundation for your holistic Estate Plan. Without it your heirs, legacy and estate are subject to the intestate succession act and the discretion of the Master of the High Court. The inheritance instructions outlined in terms of the Intestate Act could differ greatly from what your initial wishes were.

 

  • The second thing you need to do is to consult a legal practitioner.

Remember “VALID WILL” are the operative words when making your Will. It is all good and well to have final wishes, but if they are not legally sound, your Will can be declared invalid by the Master of the High Court and that will result in your estate being distributed according to Intestate Succession law. A legal practitioner can assist you with ensuring that your will is valid, so that your estate will actually be distributed in accordance with your final wishes.

 

  • Lastly, consult a financial advisor

This is a critical part of estate planning. A Financial advisor can assist a person to identify shortfalls and “blind spots” which they may not have ordinarily been aware of and guide them on how to make the necessary provisions. When you partner with an IWCP financial advisor, they can assist you with a multitude of things regarding your personal finances. They also have access to legal practitioners who will assist you with drafting your Will. This entire process can be commenced and concluded through consulting and partnering with an IWCP Financial Advisor.

 

IWCP has partnered with Nexus Fiduciary Services, who is a premier provider of Wills, Estates and other Fiduciary Services

  • Nexus is a boutique fiduciary services company with a 100% female team, and we provide the following services
  • Giving professional advice when drafting your Will, as well as keeping your original signed Will in safe custody
  • Liquidity calculations
  • Helping you draw up a comprehensive estate plan
  • The registration & termination of Trusts as well as the administration of deceased estates

 

In conclusion, we encourage you to make the responsible decision and get your Will done by speaking with one of our Financial Advisors today. To speak to an IWCP advisor please call 011 678 8904, email: info@iwcp.co.za or visit www.iwcp.co.za/contact for more information.

 

Author:

Boipelo Parage – Non-practicing Attorney at Nexus Fiduciary Services.

Disclaimer

The information contained in this document does not constitute advice by IWCP. Any legal, technical or product information contained in this document is subject to change from time to time. If there are any discrepancies between this document and the contractual terms and conditions, the contractual terms and conditions will prevail. Any recommendations made by an adviser or broker must take into consideration your specific needs and unique circumstances.

IWCP is an Affiliate of Liberty Group Limited. Liberty Group Ltd is an Authorised Financial Services Provider in terms of the FAIS Act (no. 2409). Terms and Conditions apply.

For more details about any product benefits, definitions, guarantees, fees, tax, limitations, charges, premiums/contributions or other conditions and associated risks, please speak to an IWCP Financial Adviser or your Broker.