/ 6 September 2023

11 – 15 September is National Wills Week: Seize the opportunity and safeguard your family’s financial future

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The impact of not having a valid will in place can potentially change your family’s entire future

Life seems to get busier every year, with most days being a delicate balancing act between work, family and the multitude of other responsibilities screaming for our attention. With so many pots on the boil, it’s easy to think that something as future-focused as estate planning can sit on the back burner for yet a while longer. 

In reality, the impact of not having a valid will in place can potentially change your family’s entire future. 11 – 15 September is National Wills Week, and it’s a timely reminder that securing the future for your loved ones involves more than just providing in the present. 

Why drawing up a will should be at the top of your to-do list

“Life is unpredictable, and although we don’t like to think about it, tomorrow is not guaranteed,” says Shakira Bodasing, senior legal adviser at Old Mutual. 

“Dying without a will, also known as intestacy, can have considerable legal and financial consequences for your estate and your loved ones. In such cases, your assets will be distributed according to the Intestate Succession Act, and the court might also determine the guardianship of your children.” 

This leads to outcomes that might not align with your wishes and can result in protracted legal proceedings, potential disputes among family members, and increased emotional distress during an already challenging time. Additionally, the court might appoint an executor, which will incur additional costs.

The power of a will

“At the heart of Wills Week lies a powerful truth: a will is not just a legal document; it’s a gesture of care and responsibility towards your family,” says Bodasing. 

“Regardless of age or financial standing, a will ensures that your wishes are respected when it matters most. It empowers you to designate guardians for your children, allocate your assets, and express your intentions clearly.”

The impact of having a will extends beyond personal desires. It protects your legacy by ensuring that the security you work so hard to provide for your loved ones can continue beyond your lifetime. A will is a lasting testament to your dedication and love, ensuring that your family’s financial wellbeing remains intact. 

How to draft a will

Enlisting the help of an accredited financial adviser with the needed skill in will drafting is always a good idea as the first step to your estate planning. Navigating the complexities of estate planning can be overwhelming, and while drafting your own will is possible, a financial adviser also has access to a team of legal advisers to help you create a will that is legally sound and aligns with your wishes and your loved ones’ best interests. 

In a world where the unexpected can happen at any time, a will is not just a financial document but a declaration of love, care, and concern for your family’s future. Wills Week is in September — the perfect opportunity to offer up a few minutes and gain a lifetime’s peace of mind. To find an accredited financial adviser who can help you make informed decisions suited to your unique circumstances, phone 0860 60 60 60 or visit www.oldmutual.co.za

Old Mutual Life Assurance Company (SA) Limited is a licensed FSP and Life Insurer.