Updated: Jun 27
A will is one of the most important financial planning documents, especially as you move toward retirement. Yet a large number of people still don’t have one.
The proponents of the “quick and easy” electronic era that we are living in, wants to change this by providing a self-help solution…
It pains me to even mention this, but the internet, software providers and do-it-yourself books will assist you in generating a will at a fraction of the costs of what many experts would charge. This “easy way out” method is obviously fuelled by the technological age we are living in.
There are just so many things that can go wrong, from the wording of the document to the required formalities for how it must be signed and witnessed to constitute a valid will. Mistakes could have dire consequences for your loved ones.
Mistakes in the will itself or in the formalities could lead to the will not being accepted by the Master. Your estate will then either be dealt with according to the Intestate Succession Act, where the law will determine who gets what and in what percentage, or your heirs will have to approach a court to have the will declared valid. This could be an extremely costly exercise, especially if someone else, who will benefit from the will not being declared valid, opposes this application.
An expert in the field will also be able to give you first hand advice on estate planning tools such as inter vivos and mortis causa trusts as well as any changes in the law.
The question remains: Would you want to do open-heart surgery on yourself using the internet as a guide? Obviously not, then why take the same risk with your hard earned money?
By Tom Swanepoel – Optimum Fiduciary Services