Wills Building Financial Confidence for Generations to Come | Herbst BlueStar | Sanlam Financial Planners Pretoria

Fiduciary Services

Wills: building financial confidence for generations to come

Advocate Sankie Morata, Chief Executive of Sanlam Fiduciary Services, sheds light on the importance of wills and how his departments are empowering clients to live with confidence

“We have no control over when we pass away,” says Adv Morata. “It can happen tomorrow, or it could happen decades from now. We are living in uncertain times, so ensuring that you’re covered in the event of tragedy is of utmost importance. Without a will in place, you have little to no control over what happens to your estate in the event of your passing.”

In recent years, the Master of the High Court estimated that as many as 70% of working-class South Africans will have had no will in place in the event of their death. This number is very high, and shows the vulnerability of many South Africans. The consequences of passing away without a will? In South Africa, not having a valid will in place could result in the estate (or rather, what you own) being administered under the Intestate Succession Act 81 of 1978. Essentially, this means that whatever you own will be distributed among your surviving spouse, or your children, parents, siblings or other relatives.

Everyone needs a valid will

Why a will is important

In the event of dying without a will, the Act makes provision for the surviving relatives. However, this may not be in line with how you would like to see your estate divided. For instance, should you die without having a spouse or children, the absence of a will means that your estate will be divided among your other relatives, including your parents, uncles or aunts. Should you have no living relatives, the estate will be placed into the Guardians Fund for a period of 30 years.

Having a valid will in place means that you are empowered by the knowledge that your estate will be divided according to your wishes, and not according to government guidelines, by default. That means that you can look after your children, friends and charitable causes in a way that you are comfortable with. Speak to a trusted financial adviser who can help ensure that your wishes are carried out once you pass away.

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