These have been dark days. During the pandemic that shall not be named (but starts with a C and ends in 19) it has been difficult to escape the uncomfortable introspection related to your mortality on this earthly plane. More people are becoming aware of the necessity of dealing with your last wishes before, well, that fateful final day.
I used to be an avid follower of the Wizard of Id. This offbeat comic strip, set in the Middle Ages, appeared in the Sunday Paper. One particular strip bears relevance to this topic. A peasant woman, cradling her cat, approaches the overlord’s official. She says to him; ‘I want to leave my fortune to my cat’. He questions her, saying what you own is not a fortune. Her answer: ‘it is to a cat’.
There are as many movies about funerals and the aftermath thereof as there are genres of movies! There is a favourite cinematography device that can be applied, again, to most genres. The church and graveyard scenes fade. The next day the family arrives (separately) at very official-looking offices. Nobody makes eye contact. There are a lot of awkward silences. The executor of the estate walks in. The camera pans slowly over the faces of the prospective heirs. This is the moment of truth: the Reading Of The Will …
An alarming number of South Africans do not have a will, despite owning property and other assets which will need to be accounted for and disbursed in the event of their death. If you haven’t drafted a will yet, consider the inconvenience and financial impact this could have on your family if you should die intestate. Months or years of frozen assets and an arduous legal process are just some of the problems your family could face at a time when they will be struggling with your loss. Continue reading “Why You Absolutely Need a Will”
Over the ages, people from every country on earth have wondered what happens when life ends. No matter what your beliefs, one thing is certain: as unfortunate as the death of a loved one is, if estate planning has taken place the burden on those left behind will certainly be minimised. Continue reading “What Happens After Death?”
For many of us, the subject of making a Will may be a sensitive one. Despite frequent reminders from relatives, family lawyers and public announcements, as many as 70% of South Africans have not yet drawn up a Will.
For some people, the idea of writing a Will is unpleasant because it confirms an uncomfortable fact: none of us will live forever. While nobody wants to spend their time contemplating their own death, taking the time to write a Will is a way of ensuring that your family will be looked after in the event of your death – a good reason for any of us to write one.
A popular reason given by people who are reluctant to write a Will is that the state will divide their possessions amongst their family anyway. There is some truth in this belief, but the way in which the state divides your assets if you die intestate, may not be to your liking or in accordance with your wishes. Continue reading “The Importance of Making a Will”