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Talking about death can be uncomfortable. But it's a discussion you don't want to leave to the end – then it will be too late. Having a Will and Testament is generally a subject that most people avoid, often leaving loved ones at a disadvantage at the point of their passing.
Drawing on the power of expert advice we unpack the importance of a Will and how it can be beneficial for you and your family.
In this episode of Money Heroes, we lean on the expert knowledge of Dr Mervin Messias, a highly experienced Attorney and Trust Specialist, as well as Zale Hechter, Managing Director of SmartWill, who makes it quick and easy to understand why and how you can draft your Will.
Your Will and Testament
Many people can find it difficult to talk openly about their passing and the effect it could have on their loves ones.
But one of the most caring, considerate and empowering things one can do to assist their family in the event of your passing, is drawing up an executable Will and Testament.
A Will helps your loved ones avoid a long, confusing process while they are grieving.
"If you die without a Will, your estate will go 'intestate'. That means your family and loved ones will go into a very difficult, complex and bureaucratic process to sort out your estate [governed by the law]."
Jeanette, Deputy CEO of Momentum Metropolitan, gives us her four success tips when successfully planning the passing on of your estate to your family.
1. A Will is a legal document – there are many requirements required to have a valid Will, such as which witnesses signing for it, the dates, and how frequently it is updated. Understand the rules.
2. Make sure your will is a living document – Many people keep the same Will for 20 or 30 years, but your circumstances can change or your family can grow. Make sure your Will is regularly updated.
3. Store it correctly – A special file will help you store everything you need, from policy details, to the login details of your social media pages. Let your family know where to find it.
4. Take out an estate provider policy - Momentum's Estate Provider Benefit takes care of hidden costs that you haven't thought about. It settles the unforeseen administrative and professional fees that come with settling your estate so that your home is one of the assets that are covered and protected in the event of your passing.
Join forces with an expert financial adviser to draft an executable Will and Testament. A professional will empower you to manage a complex process and advise you on how you can have a loving and caring conversation about your legacy with your loved ones.
Theo Vorster, CEO of Galileo Capital, is back this week to give us his four best tips on why you should have a Will.
Theo says that too many people in South Africa pass away without ever having a Will, which means the process of passing on their assets will be governed by law - a process you should prefer to avoid.
Here he gives us the most important reasons to draw up your Will and Testament:
Success Stories: Dr Mervyn Messias
Dr Mervyn Messias is an Attorney and Trust specialist with over 40 years of experience.
He brings us his best tips for wise estate planning, and highlights why a discretionary trust is an empowering way to handle your estate.
Protecting your assets– A discretionary trust allows you to manage and protect your wealth in a more efficient manner than through normal, legal processes. It gives the trustee more freedom to decide the future of their assets, protecting them from disgruntled people or failed relationships.
Succession planning – "A succession plan allows for a smooth transition of your assets to your loved ones." With a discretionary trust, you don't have to rely on drawn out procedures.
Disability planning - In the event you are disabled and you can't look after your affairs, a living discretionary trust will do it for you and avoids a curator managing your wealth by order of the court.
Watch the video for more from Dr Messias…
Success Stories: Zale Hechter
Zale Hechter is the CEO of Cliqtech and the managing director of SmartWill.
Zale says around 70% of South Africans do not have a will, and gives us five success tips for why and how you should manage yours.
Estate planning – Aside from drawing up a Will, you can also be involved in the estate planning process. You can set up trusts and be more economical in saving money for your family long term.
Choose a professional executor – While many people choose family or friends to be executors of their estate, it is best to go with a professional. Family members will not have the necessary skills to conduct the legal work, but a professional will wind your estate up quickly and professionally.
Have the right witnesses – When signing your will, you will also need to ensure you have the right witnesses. If a witness who signs is also a beneficiary, they won't be eligible to inherit. They also have to sign at the same time, or the will could be invalid.
Watch the video for more from Zale on getting a will and storing the original in a safe place…
Glossary of terms
Intestate - dying without having a valid Will.
Executor - The person responsible for executing the contents of your Will.
Curator - A person appointed by a court to handle your estate if you die intestate.
Testator - The person to whom the Will belongs.
Signatories - the witnesses who sign your Will along with you.
Beneficiaries - The people who will inherit wealth from your Will.