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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.

Drafting wills and estate planning

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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More about: Drafting wills and estate planning

Why would I need Estate Planning?

  • The ultimate goal of estate planning is to devise a holistic plan for an individual's life and affairs
  • Many estates lack sufficient available cash to settle debts. This may result in hardships for family members who will either have to provide cash themselves or agree to the sale of other assets to generate the cash needed
  • Ongoing planning for liquidity needs of an estate is a vital element of estate planning
  • If you have a business, estate planning also considers issues such as how a business is structured, whether business creditors could attach personal assets, tax ramifications for one's personal affairs, etc.

Who should undergo an estate planning exercise?

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.

Why do I need a Will?

By drafting a will and planning for the future of your estate you ensure that:

  • You protect the inheritance of children under 21
  • Your wishes are carried out
  • If you own a business, family remains protected against your debt liability
  • You can update your Will at any time
  • Your Will is recognised by law as the expression of your wishes
  • You save on estate duty as a result of proper planning

What is a Will?

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.

Why is it important to have a Will?

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.

Do I qualify?

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.

What should I remember when drafting a Will?

There are a number of things to remember, including:

  • Keep the wording as plain as possible
  • When referring to a person, use their full name and a short description - for example, my nephew, John Adams
  • Avoid using vague terms, such as 'cash'
  • Ensure that you understand each clause in the drafted document and that Will reflects your wishes
  • Make sure that your Will reflects your current situation at all times
  • If the Will is complicated, rather have a person with expertise revise it

What should a Will contain?

In brief, a Will should contain the following:

  • The identity (full names) of the person whose Will it is
  • The beneficiaries of the estate and the inheritance each is to receive
  • It may contain a clause for the setting up of a Trust (for example if beneficiaries are under the age of 21) and details regarding the powers of trustees
  • There could be a clause where you nominate someone to act as a guardian to a minor child
  • A Will can be used to protect an inheritance from the legal ramifications of a particular type of marriage
  • The name of someone or a particular institution nominated as executor. It may also nominate someone as trustee
  • The Will may also state that the executor is exempt from providing security - in the form of an insurance policy - for the value of the assets in the estate

Who should sign the Will?

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.

Who should I choose as witnesses?

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.

How important is it to appoint alternate heirs?

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.

When should I review my Will?

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.

What do I need to tell others?

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:

  • Whom you have nominated as your executor
  • That your executor should be notified immediately in the event of your death
  • The whereabouts of your Will (FNB Trust Services can hold the original document for you for a small annual fee)
  • Your wishes regarding funeral arrangements
  • Whom to contact if you wish to donate organs or tissues

Should I draft my own Will?

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.

What else do I need to know?

Should you want to donate your organs, you will need to take out a Living Will. This is different to the Will discussed here.

What will it cost?

Our Will drafting service is offered free of charge.

I want it!

Call us on +264 61 299 2093

Contact Details

Call us on +264 61 299 2093