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7 Steps to draft a Will

Having a Last Will and Testament drafted is an important task made easy with us.

Decide to whom you wish to leave your general estate.

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This could be your spouse, your children, a trust or a family member, or all of the above. For example, “I wish to bequeath my estate to my spouse and children equally.”

It is important to consider a “failing option” for nominations, such as your spouse or family member, so that should they not survive you, your children will inherit the respective bequest(s). A further consideration is whether you wish to include any possible unborn children. This could be important for expectant parents.

 
 
Consider if apart from your general estate, there may be something specific you wish to bequeath to someone or an entity, such as a property, jewellery or cash.

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For example, “I wish to bequest my property, ERF245 7 Cassa Brook, Galloway Road, Douglasdale, to my spouse.”

You must ensure that your estate has sufficient life cover or bond cover to meet any liabilities, including death taxes, as well as sufficiently allow for any cash bequests you may have elected in your Will. You can use our online calculator to determine the extent of the death taxes your deceased estate will be liable for. Also note that personal life cover that has a beneficiary nomination will not form part of your estate for the purposes of your Will. You must therefore carefully consider such beneficiary nominations and amend if necessary to compliment your Will. It is important to note that minor children should not be named as beneficiaries on life policies, as these proceeds will go to the Guardians Fund and not to the children.

 
It is advisable that you create a testamentary trust in terms of your Will to protect the inheritances of children that may be under the age of 18.

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A testamentary trust created in terms of your Will for the benefit of your child or children will be for their sole benefit. During the time of their upbringing, the trustees may make an allowance from the trust to provide for their living, educational, medical and other reasonable needs.
 
Where you have minor children, you should nominate guardian(s) to care for them should you both as the natural guardians pass away.

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In addition, you will need to nominate the trustees to their testamentary trusts. Ideally you should have a professional fiduciary services firm appointed as trustee, as well as look to a family member or friend to concurrently manage the trust assets. The guardian(s) need not be the trustees, as their primary role is to provide the care needed for the child or children, whilst the trustees are responsible for the management of the trust assets.

 
You need to consider and decide on the following:

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  • Do you wish to be buried or cremated?
  • Do you have any other last wishes for your remains?
  • Do you wish to be an organ donor?
  • Do you wish to have a Living Will?

A Living Will is sometimes necessary when one wishes to not be kept on life support (should life support be deemed necessary by a certified medical doctor)

 
You need to appoint an executor or joint executors to wind-up your deceased estate in terms of your Will.

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Often the appointment of an executor to your deceased estate is confused with the appointment of the trustee and / or guardian. The executor literally “executes” the deceased estate, fulfilling the testamentary terms of your Will. Ideally a professional fiduciary services company and / or a family attorney should be appointed to deal with your deceased estate on behalf of your beneficiaries.
 
The last consideration is the legal expenses borne by your deceased estate. These include:

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  • Executor fees
  • Trustee fees
  • Conveyance fees

Considering that these fees can run into hundreds of thousands of Rands, you can negotiate such with your nominations in terms of your Will.

In addition, provision should be made to meet the costs of your burial or funeral, as well as the immediate cash shortfall your family may experience shortly after your death.

A solution to these considerations is our Legacy Protection Plan. Not only does the correct plan choice allow for the FULL recoupment of fees by your estate, but it also includes an Immediate Liquidity Benefit that pays a cash amount within 48 hours of death. This, coupled with our optional funeral cover, will secure your family financially and ensure that their intended legacies are delivered upon free of any such costs. Please refer to our online calculator to determine the extent of legal fees your deceased estate will be liable for, and the optimum Legacy Protection Plan for you.

 

With us we believe in the value of advice to help you draft a Will that is simple and comprehensive.

If after reading through this, you feel you need assistance with your Last Will and Testament, click on the button below to have a consultant to contact you for your FREE consultation and Free WILL!