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Wills – Here's Why You Need One

10 August 2021

Your last will and testament. A legally binding document with an ominous-sounding name, but wills don’t need to be all that doom-ridden.

Most people know that it describes how their possessions should be distributed after their passing. So, what’s the big deal if it would all get split equally anyway? Well, it doesn’t always work out that way.

Protect unmarried partners

For starters, regardless of how long you've been together, unmarried partners aren't entitled to anything from your estate unless it's clearly stated in your will. If you die without a will and the family house is in your name, your unmarried partner isn't automatically in line to inherit it, which means they could lose their home.

Protect dependants

You don't only decide how your estate is divided when you write a will, you can also choose who will look after your dependants. You may have named friends or family members as godparents for your children, but this isn't legally binding. A will allows you to appoint legal guardians for them if they are under the age of 18.

Apart from affirming who will raise your children, you can make plans to provide for their future financially. This could involve setting money aside for their schooling, ensuring they receive a specific amount each year for clothing or hobbies, or building a savings account to help them purchase a home. You might want to consider establishing a trust to provide for your children, as this allows you more control over when they receive the money and what they do with it. If you want to provide for your stepchildren, you'll need to write a will that includes them. The same goes for foster children or any other dependants who may rely on you for support.

Curb family disputes

If there is no will, or your preferences aren't made clear, dividing up an estate might lead to squabbles and conflicts among your survivors. Contested wills can be devastating to family relationships, as well as costly if decisions concerning your estate are legally contested. A well-drafted will can help avoid these conflicts and make your death less stressful for your loved ones.

Financial planning is the process for the creation, protection, use and preservation of wealth during a person’s lifetime and thereafter. At SFP, we believe that our clients deserve peace of mind by knowing that their financial affairs are in good standing. We aid in creating a plan of action and coordinate the management of that plan in order to leave a legacy of financial soundness.

Sanlam Life Insurance is a licensed financial service provider.
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