If you’re young, broke, single and don’t have any kids, you don’t need a will (yet). However, if you have a partner, are married, have kids, or have assets (money or property), then yes.

Planning for and talking about death is intimidating and unsettling. It requires us to imagine the worst case scenario and that is why writing a Will is on most people’s “I’ll get to that later” list – less than a third of us have one! Thing is, who inherits the silverware is just the beginning.

A Will is not just for the rich and wealthy. It is one of the most critical things you can do for your loved ones by reducing stress and confusion during an already trying time. Regardless of how much or how little money you have, a Will ensures that whatever personal belongings and assets you have, will go to the beneficiaries you designate. Also, making provision for minor children is crucial to ensure that you get to choose their legal guardian should you pass. It is a fundamental facet of being a parent. It’s about taking control of your estate and taking care of those you leave behind.

Should you die without a Will, your deceased estate will be distributed in terms of the Intestate Succession Act. Since no executor was named, a judge appoints an administrator to serve in that capacity. As such, an administrator may make decisions that wouldn’t necessarily agree with your wishes or those of your heirs. This means that beneficiaries you may never have wished to inherit might benefit, while those that you genuinely care for and would want to benefit, might be left with no legal entitlement to your estate or assets. Also, your children might be placed in the care of someone they are not familiar with or someone you don’t trust.

Do you need a legal expert to draw up a Will? Off course you have the option of drawing up a Will yourself, but be warned - South African law has strict rules and procedures when it comes to the authenticity and validity thereof. It will be advisable to have a person with the necessary legal knowledge, such as an attorney, draw up your will. You definitely don’t want an unnecessary error rendering your Will invalid.

Attorneys also understand tax and other financial implications that go hand in hand with dividing your estate. If you do decide to make use of an online template, gather as much information as possible to make informed decisions that will ultimately benefit your loved ones. Also, a good idea might be to have a lawyer give it a once over.

Make sure to revisit your Will every few years to make amendments when an event like marriage, divorce, or the birth of a child happens in your personal life.

The biggest reason anyone needs a Will is to help your family avoid a massive administrative headache in the event of your passing.

Getting the task done now means you only have to add - not start from scratch - as life gets more complicated. Makes sense, right?

Source: www.womanshealthmag.com, lawforall.co.za, themoneynerds.com, fin24.com, legalwise.co.za, aarp.org, Expatica.com, thebalance.com, moneyunder30.com, legalwills.co.uk, havenlife.com

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.