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According to the University of South Africa (UNISA), South African households’ real net worth increased by over R1 trillion from the second to the last quarter of 2020, despite the economic contraction due to the pandemic. Consequently, more people are inclined to make offshore property investments in popular destinations such as Portugal and Mauritius.
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.
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.
The loss of a family member or a loved one is a challenging and an emotional life experience. The days and months following the death of a loved one can often go by in a blur. Help and guidance are essential for families to get their affairs swiftly in order. Putting financial issues off to later will not only leave families with unnecessary financial constraints but it can also lengthen the process of winding up an estate.
It is a key objective for many wealthy families and those who own businesses to leave a legacy while encouraging entrepreneurial spirit, underpinned by the family’s core values. There are various challenges families face when transferring family offices from one generation to the next, but there are also opportunities that can protect the family’s legacy while enabling individuals to forge their own paths.
You’ve made the effort to get an executable will in place, but are you all sorted in terms of knowing who will get what? Not necessarily. Unfortunately, it’s not that clear cut. Many of us confuse how our assets will be distributed through our will, with the distribution of death benefits from our company sponsored retirement fund – often assuming that our death benefits fall within the scope of our will. But the two are treated very differently when we die.
While we will all face the inevitability of death one day, many of us find it scary to confront our own mortality. But good estate planning is a critical aspect of broader financial planning; without it, our dependants may be left in a precarious financial position.
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.