A Will should serve as a blueprint for your life and financial planning journey. Your Will should not be viewed as an afterthought or as a complicated document, but rather as part of an estate plan that considers all aspects of your life.
Aneesa Razack, CEO of FNB Fiduciary says, “A Will is a detailed plan of how you will leave your accumulated assets and belongings, big or small, to your loved ones once you pass on. As life progresses, people’s needs evolve and, as such, we need to ensure that their wishes are well represented in a Will. Whether big changes like purchasing a house or getting married or making any type of investment – you need to consider these when doing and updating your Will.”
Senzo Nsibande, CEO of FNB Integrated Advice adds, “As an integrated financial services provider, we encourage our customers to consult their financial advisors or financial institutions on how to structure their Wills in line with their wishes and unique circumstances. Moreover, customers should take advantage of events like Wills Week to learn more about the importance of having a Will and, most importantly, to take the first step to draft their Will.”
FNB shares a few considerations when it comes to considering your estate plan and then ultimately how you draft your Will:
- Living with a partner – While sharing all your financial matters may have some romantic appeal and financial benefits, it is equally important for couples to be aware of how they need to manage this when it comes to their individual Wills. If you are sharing your financial commitments with your partner, such as a home or car you bought together, you must have an open discussion about the financial restrictions or risks that will be involved if one of you passes away.
- Married – Many married couples keep joint bank accounts. It is important to note that if the primary account holder of this joint bank account passes away, the bank is required by law to freeze the account until the deceased person’s estate has been fully processed. This will almost certainly put financial strain or stress on the living person. This also applies to co-applicants for home or vehicle loans.
- Divorced – Make the necessary changes to your Will and estate planning to reflect your current wishes. Your ex-spouse will not be automatically removed from your Will simply because you divorced.
- Dependents- If you have young children, decide who will care for them if you and your partner pass away. If you have chosen a guardian and included it in your Will, you should also consider your relationship with the chosen guardian. Check that it is safe and will provide a good environment for your children to grow up in. The most important thing to remember here is to ensure that whatever you leave for your children is in good hands.
“It is important to invest some quality time and reflect on how you can apply some of these considerations to help you in keeping your Will as a blueprint to your financial planning journey. Never compromise when it comes to protecting your assets and planning required to pass your assets efficiently to the next generation. This way, your loved ones can commit to fulfil your key wishes even when you are not around. Don’t wait any longer, draft or update your Will now,” concludes Razack.