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There are many reasons to draft or update a Will, but Estate planning is particularly important where one has been involved in more than one relationship or marriage, and also to help limit the tax impact on your estate.
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Thorough estate planning could benefit anyone. However, if you have growing wealth or own your own business, you should definitely look into speaking to an expert in the field. FNB Trust Services can assist with this. We have a number of estate planning experts on our staff, suitably qualified in law, taxation and financial planning.
By drafting a will and planning for the future of your estate you ensure that:
A Will is a written instrument containing directions on how the assets of the person making the Will shall be divided on his/her death. The Will must be executed in accordance with the laws of the country in which the person making the Will resides.
If a person dies without leaving a Will, or if the Will is not valid for any reason, the beneficiaries will be determined according to legislation - the Law of Intestate Succession. Essentially, the law determines who the closest blood relatives are and distributes the assets in terms of this.
Each situation will be different, but the important point to note is that a family member you may never have chosen to inherit from you could end up with all your assets. In addition, if you live with someone, but aren't married to the person, the law will not recognise your so-called 'common-law spouse' as the beneficiary of your estate if you haven't left a Will naming them as beneficiary.
Only persons over the age of 16 years may make a Will. Once you are over this age, you can decide to have a Will, regardless of your marital status and asset value.
There are a number of things to remember, including:
In brief, a Will should contain the following:
You, being the Testator (male) or Testatrix (female), need to sign each page of the Will, together with two witnesses. Any alteration also needs to be signed in this manner. The place and date of signing must be written in at the end of the document.
Witnesses should be people who have no interest in the Will. Their signatures merely acknowledge that they saw you sign the Will - they do not have to know the content of the Will.
It is always wise to include alternate heirs in your Will. If you do not nominate alternate heirs, your intestate heirs (nearest blood relatives) will inherit your estate.
Your Will should be reviewed periodically, especially when there has been any change in your status or circumstances, or those of your beneficiaries, such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, etc. Another good time to review your Will would be after any changes in legislation that could affect your estate.
In order to ensure that the wishes expressed in your Will are put into effect at the time of your death, your family and friends should know the following:
You should always seek expert and professional advice when you want to draft or review your Will. Attempting to draft the Will yourself could result in the Will being invalid, or could cause unintended consequences due to incorrect wording used.
Should you want to donate your organs, you will need to take out a Living Will. This is different to the Will discussed here.
Our Will drafting service is offered free of charge.
Call us on +264 61 299 2093
Call us on +264 61 299 2093