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Estate planning means making a plan for taking care of your nearest and dearest and dealing with everything you own and owe when you pass away. A will or testament is a legal document where you leave instructions on how you want your family to be taken care of, and who will inherit assets like property, jewellery, cars or investments that you own.
The most recent estimates by the Master of the High Court are that as many as 70% of South Africans do not have a legally executable will. What this means is that for many South Africans, the death of a family member or loved one is surrounded by confusion, disarray and conflict.
National Wills Week will be held this week from 13 to 17 September 2021. This is an ideal opportunity to draft a will or to review an existing will. In recent times, we have come to realise that death can happen to anyone, at any time. Death does not discriminate against age. Whether you’re young or old it is therefore important to ensure your affairs are in order.
Right now, over 4.14 million people around the world have succumbed to COVID-19 - and over 84,000 of those deaths happened right here in South Africa. As we navigate a third COVID-19 wave, South Africans are starting to come to terms with their own mortality.
As a result of the pandemic, women are more financially exposed than ever. According to our latest Household Financial Wellness Insights, released together with UNISA, women who make up 51.1% of the South African population, were hardest hit by the lockdown.
In South Africa we are fortunate to have freedom of testation, or simply put, if you are 16 years and older, you can choose whom the beneficiaries of your earthly possessions will be after your demise. As such, it is important that your Will is properly executed.