It has been said that there are only two certainties in life – death and taxes! The timing of taxes is quite certain, but for death it is not. Everyone dies sometime, but you have no idea when it’s your turn. Death is a topic we prefer to avoid, but if you do not take precautions, you will lose your say.

Carpe diem! Seize the day! That’s the motto we live by. Stay positive, focus on what’s uplifting and keep the bright side up. We are programmed to focus on what makes us feel good and therefore it is not the norm to discuss estate planning while on a date night.

And yes, to create a mountain out of just a thought of death, or the thought that either you or your partner will have to deal with the heartbreak of being left behind, is not ideal. But death is part of our reality, so it is very important to plan and make the necessary provision for your affairs to be in order before you die. Today! Carpe Diem!

You work all your life to leave a legacy for your loved ones. But the number of South Africans who die without a valid will is worrying! According to experts, statistics show that about 80% of South Africans do not have a valid will. Are you part of this statistic? It means you are writing off your right to say what should happen to your assets and belongings, directly affecting your loved ones, possibly not achieving what you have worked towards all your life.

Should you die without a last will and testament, known simply as a Will, you give away the right to decide for yourself what should happen to your assets. You are no longer around to have it your way. You also leave your loved ones with a variety of eye-watering costs that they will have to deal with at the same time that they are still in the emotionally draining process of mourning.

If you die without a valid Will, you are said to be “intestate”. Your heirs will inherit according to the Intestate Succession Act, Act 81 of 1987 – which determines who inherits your assets (your spouse, children, grandchildren, parents and other family members are given priority). Even if this is how you want it to happen, the absence of a Will can still have far-reaching consequences, like:

  • your children may end up in state custody – or in the hands of a guardian you would not have chosen yourself;
  • your children’s inheritance may suffer losses while in the state’s Guardians Fund;
  • your wishes regarding your legacy cannot be acted upon;
  • your heirs may be unpleasantly surprised with unforeseen costs surrounding estate taxes that could be a financial burden on them;
  • when it comes to the division of your assets, serious conflict can arise, damaging relationships; and
  • the state will also appoint trustees to manage your estate and Testamentary Trust.

In other words… should you die without a Will, a set of rigid rules based on legal guidelines will speak on your behalf.

What happens after your death can be so different if you have drafted a valid Will. It is a task that can save your loved ones much trauma and distress; and fear due to uncertainty. attooh! has a team of experts, in a service provider, who help to significantly reduce legal costs after your death. We will offer you a no-obligation consultation during which a complimentary Will is drawn up for you.

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