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More About Wills and Estate Planning

5 August 2021

If there’s one thing we need to ensure when creating and reviewing our last will and estate plan, it’s that accurate and complete information is critical. The more clarity we can bring to the documents and the legal processes that rely so heavily on them, the greater our peace of mind.

Whilst not all financial advisers are qualified to draft or execute a last will and testament, they can assist with estate planning. It’s always advisable that you draft your will in conjunction with your financial plan. This will ensure that you have ample liquidity to settle all debts and expenses (estate duty and executor’s fees).

For this reason, most financial advisers will have a team of trusted professionals to help with the wider scope of your needs. With SFP’s financial advisers, you can rest assured that you will have full access to experts in every area of your fiduciary needs – including will- and estate planning.

Did you know that estate planning and wills are different?

A qualified, professional financial adviser can do estate planning. Estate planning is the financial planning process of reviewing all your policies and investments (financial assets) that will be included in your last will and testament. It will help you describe both your assets and how estate duties and costs will be covered.

A will, then, is your final voice (testament) regarding how you have chosen to distribute your assets. It is legally binding and gives you control of how your assets will be distributed in the event of your passing (or incapacitation).

Did you know that you can have a joint will with someone?

Anyone can make a single will, irrespective of their marital status. A joint will is a will of two persons – it could be more, but this seldom happens in practice. Most joint wills are made by married couples or partners in common-law relationships, but this is not a legal requirement.

Did you know that you should have separate wills drawn up if you have assets in a foreign country?

This is not imperative as it is possible to have one will which deals with your worldwide estate. However, succession law and the procedures which have to be followed concerning estate administration differ from country to country. It is often best practice to have a separate will drawn up by an expert in the relevant law of each country where you hold assets.

Always ensure that your will has a clause revoking all and any previous wills – you don’t want to make an already admin-intensive process even more complicated. If you’d like to review your estate plan or your last will, get in touch today and let’s not put it off any longer.

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