Will You Make The Smart Choice?
Wills aren’t just for your parents anymore – you need one too.
It’s time to toss the outdated perception that wills are meant for older people that have fully established their lives, you know the idea. Those people that have two children, a bond and go on beach holidays every year. An estimate by the Master of The High Court reveals that approximately 70% of South Africans don’t have a will. This alarming statistic means that hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of families will have to wait for the state to appoint an Executor and disperse a loved one’s assets. So, even if you have made provisions for people that rely on you financially, they may not see a cent for months or longer.
We chatted to Zale Hechter, CEO at CliqTech, the official partner for GetUp Wills, to get an expert’s view on some of the most pressing questions when it comes to wills:
I’m young and have no assets – why should I bother with a will?
A will sets out your wishes for your current and future assets essentially, as well as making certain that guardians’ for children have been nominated and of course, how your funeral arrangements should be conducted.
So, while you’re starting out it may feel impossible that you’ll accumulate assets that anyone would want to have – but when it does happen at least you have a basic plan in the event of your passing. The key to truly being in the driver’s seat of your financial future is planning from the early stages of your life.
The Covid pandemic was completely unexpected and many families are in the situation where people named as guardians of children/beneficiaries have also died – how can you plan for this?
[This is where it becomes important to name more than one beneficiary, and to truly cast your net wider than you would initially think when crafting your will.] The nice thing about the GetUp Will is; you can add as many guardians or beneficiaries as you would like but you can also update this at any time and re-sign the Will ensuring your children are always protected and most importantly your Will remains relevant. Ease of access makes this far easier than traditional antiquated means.
Beyond naming a guardian for your children in the event of your death – do you also have to set out exactly how you want them to be financially taken care of?
This is governed through a testamentary trust which sets out the trustees that will manage the finances of the child until they are of an age to inherit the proceeds of the late estate.
When you die if your will can’t be found and the Estate is then executed by the state – but is found later again can your wishes be retroactively enforced?
This hardly ever or never happens, but technically if the estate was administered according to the Interstate Succession Act and concluded that would stand unless it came out that there was a will that was hidden on purpose where a case could be made in court.
Is there anything that people commonly get wrong when it comes to crafting their will?
Yes, often they sign the will incorrectly, a big problem is people witness the will but are also beneficiaries in the will meaning – they can’t inherit if the person dies. Another issue is that people don’t witness and sign the will at the same time which could lead to contesting of the will later on.
Get your GetUp Will here.