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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.
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.
Recently, the importance of proper estate planning and specifically the importance of having a valid and up-to-date Will, has gained some attention. What is often not addressed is the unique estate planning needs of consumers at the various stages in their lives, such as retirement.
The thing with resolutions is we all make them, and we all break them. But it needn’t be so. The trick is you must look back to go forward, especially with the inevitable New Year’s resolutions. Taking stock of your previous year’s achievements, failings, and surprises helps sort out what it is you want to accomplish in the coming year. Focus on the specifics.
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.