Do I Really Need A Will?
You may have been told that Wills are only necessary for high net worth individuals. We are here to tell you that this is not the case. We understand that death is never an easy topic to discuss. Talking about and planning for your death can be both terrifying and uncomfortable, but unfortunately, it is something that you should prioritise sooner rather than later, for the sake of your loved ones.
After all, death is inevitable and its consequences not only affect you, but also those closest to you. Don’t you want to be in control of who benefits from your life’s hard work?
I’m married – do I need a Will?
If you are married, then you should definitely consider getting a Will. Your spouse is someone who you want to be taken care of in the event of your death, it is important for you to put in writing what assets you would like her to inherit.
Generally speaking, your spouse will inherit your assets should you die without a will, however, rather than leaving that up to chance, it is safer to get a will drafted. Additionally, if you are wanting anyone other than your spouse to receive a portion of your assets, you would need to include that in your Will.
I have children – do I need a Will?
If you have children, then it is imperative that you have a Will. A Will gives you the opportunity to choose who your child/children’s legal guardian will be in the event that both you and your spouse pass whilst they are minors.
Additionally, if you also want your children to inherit things after your spouse, then you will need to have this written in your Will. In the case that you don’t want one of (or all of) your children to inherit, this will need to be in your Will. You may want to consider setting up a testamentary trust if you have minor children, a testamentary trust will ensure that assets intended for minor children are protected.
I have a positive net worth, but no spouse or children – do I need a Will?
If you are single, don’t have any children, but have a positive net worth, then it is important that you have a Will. You need a Will so that you can decide who inherits your estate. You may want to choose a specific family member or friend to inherit your assets, rather than leaving it up to the government.
If you have assets that need to be distributed upon your death, it is always easier on your loved ones to have a Will in place.
What happens if I die without having a Will?
If you die without leaving a Will, then you are essentially forfeiting the opportunity to decide who inherits your belongings, furthermore, you will be leaving your belongings to be distributed according to the Intestate Succession Act, meaning that people who you may not have wanted to benefit from your estate, may inherit assets in your estate. If you die without having a Will, and you are not married, but you are in a long term relationship, your partner will be left with nothing. In the case where there are children involved, your children’s inheritance could pass to the Government Guardian’s Fund or an appointed guardian rather than to a trust which will ensure your wishes for them are carried out.
Dying without a Will often leads to family feuds, where family members argue over the distribution of your estate because your final wishes are not clearly documented in a Will. Winding up your estate is often a lengthy process, and without a Will appointing a professional executor, the government is essentially in control of the process. This is why it is extremely important to have a valid will in place.
It is important to remember that you need to update your Will on a regular basis. As your wealth increases, so does your estate, and your Will doesn’t take this into account. To start drafting your Will, contact us today and one of our professional advisors will assist you in drafting or updating your current Will.