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Have You Updated Your Will Lately?

A startling statistic is that more than 70% of South Africans don’t have a will. This is very disturbing because when someone dies without a valid will, it’s called dying intestate. This leaves the distribution of their assets and belongings up to a judge and South African law.

Putting off vital estate planning decisions could eventually mean that someone else has to make them for you. What someone else decides may not be in your family’s best interests and could even fail to meet their future needs. A carefully thought out estate plan takes your priorities into account and benefits your heirs as intended.

Document Your Decisions

A Last Will and Testament provides for the care of minor children by establishing guardianship and dictates how you want your remaining assets divided among your heirs. An executor is then named, and their job is to oversee the distribution of assets and pay any taxes, debts or other financial obligations that are due. This powerful estate planning tool is designed to express your desires clearly and provide guidance to your family and/or representatives during a difficult time when you would be unable to do so yourself.

Legal documents are binding once they are prepared, signed and filed, and estate tax laws are complex and change frequently. We can guide you through difficult decisions and carry out your specific wishes. Don’t forget that estate planning is a lifelong process that calls for regular adjustments as the law or your personal and financial situations change. Certain life events in particular (for example, marriage, the birth of a child, divorce, death of a loved one or retirement) prompt the need to review and update your plan along with the associated documents as soon as possible.

Don't Delay this Important Planning

The results of unexpected death without any prior estate planning can cause substantial financial hardships on the family and create massive legal and tax expenses that drain the assets of the estate. More importantly, it can often cause divisive tension and infighting among family members. All of this is so easy to avoid with just a little planning and documentation. A Last Will and Testament can provide great peace of mind for both the person executing the Will and their family.

Nobody lives forever, and often death happens when one least expects it. Do not delay. Start planning your Will today and secure your family’s future for tomorrow.

McCarthy & Associates can assist you with drafting your Will or amending your existing Will. If you have any questions about Wills or related issues, contact McCarthy & Associates Attorneys on (033) 266 6170 or  via email