Written by Danie van Niekerk – Indwe BlueStar Executive Head
54% of South Africans do not have a last will and testament. Let that sink in for a bit…
While considering the kind of legacy one would be leaving behind can be a grim thing to ponder, far too many people do not understand the importance of writing a will and how this can impact the lives of loved ones.
A will ensures that you are in control of your estate and takes care of those whom you leave behind. Should you pass away without a will, your estate will be distributed in terms of the law of intestate succession. This means that beneficiaries who you genuinely care about and who you’d want to benefit from an inheritance, may suffer the consequences of having no legal entitlement to your estate. By having a will in place, you also ensure that the estate administration process is accelerated (if you nominate an executor in your will, of course). It could take months to have an executor appointed by the Master of the High Court, thereby potentially leaving family members without critical income.
So, why don’t people have wills?
Age plays a part. Having a will is often something that young people perceive as only necessary later in life, as many believe that they do not have sufficient assets to warrant having a will. Often only when certain milestones are reached, such as when a person takes out a bond or starts a family, does the importance and need for a will arise.
It also comes down to the perceived complexity, cost and time needed to draft a will. According to a Sanlam study by Brand Atlas, nearly half of the respondents who didn’t have a will said it was because they hadn’t got around to drafting one, while 56% of those who have wills, had drafted theirs with the assistance of a financial advisor or a bank.
A will can be incredibly simple and cheap to draft. Having a person with the necessary legal knowledge and expertise will ensure that your will is well-defined, succinct and benefits those in which it intends to protect.
At Indwe BlueStar, our experienced risk professionals are here to help protect your legacy and family by simplifying the complexity of putting together a will. Contact your Indwe BlueStar adviser today for professional advice on drafting your will.
Danie van Niekerk
Executive Head | Authorised Principal
Contact number: +27 11 831 8011
Indwe is an authorised Financial Services Provider. FSP: 3425