Most people don’t like to think about death or about planning for their family’s life after their death. Unfortunately, this can have a negative impact on their financial situation and their loved ones. The truth is that all adults need to engage with this type of life planning at some stage in their financial journey and the sooner, the better.
One element of financial planning that shouldn’t be overlooked is a will. Think you don’t think need a will because you are too young or not established enough? Think again. Life is unpredictable and many of us have assets and financial responsibilities so it is likely that we need a will and a proper financial plan. Not only will a will legally protect your assets (and therefore help secure your dependants’ futures), it will ensure that your finances are dealt with as per your wishes.
Our top five reasons you need a will
1. You get to decide
A will allows you to decide how your estate will be distributed and who will receive your assets upon your death, as well as nominate the executor of your estate. This is particularly important if you have young children, dependants, or are part of a blended family. Without a will, your family will be left to handle your estate and that might lead to unnecessary conflict and pain.
2. Protection for your children
Have a baby on the way or minor children? A will allows you to decide who will care for your children and how. If you do not stipulate this, the courts will decide and that may not be what you would have wanted or what is best for your children.
3. Protection for your business
If you run your own business, a will is an important part of estate planning. It is a good way to set out your wishes for the business and to pass it on to your heirs or partners, depending on your business agreement. Keep in mind that a lack of estate planning is a key contributor to business failure after the first generation.
4. A chance to give
A will lets you put in place plans for charitable donations and giving to worthy causes. If this is important to you, do not leave this decision to chance or to your family who might have different interests or needs.
5. Speed things up
If you die without a will, your estate will be distributed in terms of the law of intestate succession, entering into a long and tedious administrative process. The Master of the High Court will appoint an executor to administer the property of your minor children and their inheritance will go to the Guardians Fund, while your assets will be distributed as the court sees fit.
Just like all aspects of financial planning, your will needs to be unique to your situation and needs. And it should be drawn up by a professional. Make it a part of your financial plan today to ensure that all your hard work to establish your financial security remains intact in the future.
Looking for a reputable independent financial adviser to get you on the right track with all aspects of your financial plan? Talk to a TRG team member. As professional independent advisers, we offer a range of financial services, from insurance to investment, and we can help you manage, grow, and protect your wealth.