Will I or will I not

2013-10-08 00:00

SITTING at a family dinner this weekend, the age-old joke arose that the only two things in life that are certain are death and taxes, which made me start thinking that people never really seem to focus on the question: what will happen after my death?

Sometimes thinking about death can be overwhelming, but there is a very significant question that every person, young or old needs to ask themselves: will I or will I not execute a valid will before I die?

In a quick overview, this is what can happen at the time of your death should you fail to have a valid will. Ultimately, your estate will be governed by the Interstate Succession Act 81 of 1987. This basically means that neither you nor your family can change who will inherit from your estate or in what portion.

The advantages of having a will, is that a set of laws do not govern who gets to inherit at the time of your death. Your estate will be divided according to your wishes. You are put in the driver’s seat and have the ultimate say. You can choose to protect your loved ones when you are no longer around to do so.

If you do decide to execute a valid will, below are some things you need to consider.

• What are your assets? These include both you immovable and movable items.

• What are your liabilities?

• If your children are minors, who would you want to appoint as their guardians?

Death is one of the hardest things in life to face. However, in the words of Benjamin Franklin, who perfectly summed it up: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”.

• Raeesa Sing is a professional assistant to Claudia Garella, founder of Garella Attorneys that specialises in the practice of law.

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