The importance of a Will cannot go unnoticed as it is probably the most important document that you will sign during your lifetime. A Will provides you with the opportunity to give clear instructions on how your assets and wishes are to be dealt with when you pass away.
“It is estimated that approximately 77% of South Africans die without a proper Will in place,” says Vijay Morarjee, CEO FNB Fiduciary. “Fear and acceptance of death is a grave reality for all of us. In these instances a solid Will ensures that your liabilities, assets and your family is taken care of.”
A Will is a legal and binding document that will benefit you and your family in the long term. “When a person dies without a Will, they forfeit the privilege of deciding what should happen to their estate. The estate then gets allocated in terms of pre-determined legislated guidelines, known as Intestate Succession. In other words, that person has no say in how the estate should be apportioned,” explains Morarjee.
“A Will forms the cornerstone of your financial plan and is an essential step that ensures the interests of your loved ones are protected and secure.” Ensuring that your Will and estate planning is at optimal health is important. According to Morarjee, “a Will gives you the opportunity to legally appoint heirs of your choice, allows for the nomination of a guardian for minor children, enables you to nominate an executor of your choice and plays an important part in your estate plan.”
Your Will should be reviewed at least once a year to avoid risk and unnecessary errors. Many assume that completing a Will is a costly activity, but institutions like FNB can assist, free of charge “Expert advise in the context is important when formulating a Will as there are various legal implications if the estate is not planned, provided for, and executed properly,” concludes Morarjee.
National Wills Week takes place from the 11 -15th of September, with a key focus on the importance of having a valid Will in place.