Capital Legacy talks life

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Capital Legacy, South Africa’s leading provider of Wills, says the onset of Covid-19 and the resultant tragic loss of lives in the country is exposing the extent to which South Africans appear to be ill prepared about getting their financial affairs in order when a loved one unexpectedly passes on.

The company, which is partly owned by empowerment investment holding company African Rainbow Capital, is the single largest provider of Wills in the country.

Alex Simeonides, Co-founder and CEO of Capital Legacy, says: “We saw, nearly 10 years ago, that not enough South Africans protected their legacies with a Last Will and Testament. Sadly, nearly 75% of South Africans pass away without a valid Will. Our goal from inception has been to help more South Africans get valid Wills in place.

“We as a country have been very lucky in experiencing an overall lower number of Covid-19-related deaths when compared with some of the most advanced countries in the world. Yet, at Capital Legacy our experience is that the Covid-19 pandemic is accelerating the unfortunate trend of laying bare how few people actually take the time to pro-actively sort their affairs to the benefit of their children and other loved ones they leave behind when they pass on.”

Simeonides says sorting one’s personal financial affairs in the interest of those you leave behind may be seen as an intimidating experience by many who are less skilled and versed in financial planning matters, but that it actually is a very simple process.

“People often think that they themselves need to become experts on solutions to their financial affairs. Unfortunately, these solutions can at times be somewhat technical, which may leave people feeling overwhelmed. They then hit a brick wall and don’t know how to proceed. It is best to simply contact your financial advisor. If you don’t have one, then call one of the 5 000 Capital Legacy financial advisors to immediately assist you and your family.”

Since its inception in 2012, Capital Legacy has grown to become the single largest provider of Wills in the country. It has over 250 000 clients, 10 offices across the country in each of the major cities, over 350 staff and 5 000 supporting financial advisors. Capital Legacy signs on 6 000 new clients every month.

Simeonides says a further challenge people are often faced with is that even though they have managed to get the Will in place, their estate is illiquid and there appears to be insufficient funds to wind up the estate.

“After nearly a decade of working with deceased estates and watching families having to piece their lives together after a loved one has unexpectedly passed away, we have first-hand experience in how poor financial planning often results in major unexpected expenses for loved ones left behind.

“All too often we’ve assisted in the set-up of Testamentary Trusts for children, but little to no funds are available in the Estate to effectively carry out the wishes of the deceased client.

“We believe the most cost-effective solution in this regard is adequate life cover, which requires the policyholder to make minimal monthly payments towards their own policy. The correct life cover ensures people have enough funds when the unexpected happens and they are faced with the need to have cash resources immediately available.”

Brandon Garbutt, Managing Director at Capital Legacy, notes: “The time to look at life insurance is when you are doing your Last Will and Testament. And the best decision you can make is to entrust the people who wind up your Estate and set up the Trusts for your children or spouse to provide your life insurance solutions. This will keep your estate liquid, ensuring sufficient funds exist to deal with costs that will arise.”

Garbutt says the traditional life insurance product does not always fully address this pressing need.

“We feel the market is ready for change. Not change for the sake of it, but because it is change we need in the interest of millions of ordinary people.”

Capital Legacy is planning an industry-wide launch of a new relevant product on August 13 to address this pressing need that people are experiencing.

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