There are only two ways that you can die. With a Will. Or without a Will. It’s entirely your choice. But here are five reasons why we would strongly recommend that you die with a Will.
- You can appoint your executor.
When you die, somebody has to be appointed as an executor to organise all the paperwork, and generally distribute and administer your estate. Preferably someone disciplined, organised, honest, reliable and trustworthy. By drafting your Will you can identify and appoint an executor of your choice.
- You choose who inherits.
Drafting a Will is the best way to ensure that your property and assets get given to the people of your choosing. If you die without a Will your deceased estate will get distributed according to the rules of “intestate succession”. This means that people you don’t particularly like may land up inheriting (like your long-lost alcoholic nephew), and the people you do want to inherit may land up getting nothing (like the long-suffering girlfriend you’ve been living with for decades).
- You can protect your minor children’s financial interests.
If you have minor children and you die without a Will, your children’s share of your assets will be invested in the Guardian’s Fund until they turn 18. The Guardian’s Fund is operated by the state and investments earn interest at a rate set by the Minister of Justice. This is not what most people would consider a financially viable option. By drafting a Will you get to choose what happens to your children’s portion of your estate, including the registration of a testamentary trust for your children’s benefit.
- Name a guardian for your children.
Who will care for your children if you die while they’re still young? What if their other parent is deceased, or if both parents die in the same accident? If you identify your children’s guardian/s in your Will you can save your family from potentially arguing over who will care for the kids.
- Your mortal remains
Burial? Cremation? Ashes to fertilize a tree or distributed at sea? You can save your family potential strife by specifying what you want them to do with your remains. Including your choice in your Will removes the need for your family to try and agree on this emotional decision.
So for the sake of your loved ones, make sure that you draft your Last Will and Testament.
Please note that this information is supplied for general information and does not constitute legal advice. It is advisable for you to contact a legal practitioner for guidance in respect of your unique requirements.