What Will you leave behind?
Take care of it all now
Death is one thing we don’t all consider in terms of assuring our loved ones are covered. There are reasons why you need to constantly update your Will.
Having a well thought out plan is important in life, it allows you to adapt to constant changes in your lifecycle. However, one event that can disrupt your plans is your death. In the case of your death, the way you can guarantee that your final wishes are met is if you leave behind a Will. A will is a written document in which a person, 16 years or older, designates beneficiaries and instructs how their assets should be distributed after they pass on. “It is an essential document that needs to be updated according to changes in your circumstances,” said Bank Windhoek’s Administrator of Wills, Glenda Du Toit. There may be many reasons to update your Will. Du Toit shares a few below:
Change in your marital status
Perhaps you just got married and want to include your spouse in your will. If you are going through a divorce, it is also advisable to revisit your Will and make necessary adjustments after your new status is confirmed.
If you are a parent, make sure that you select two to three guardians for your child in order of preference in case people on your list get divorced, pass on or refuse to be custodians of your children at the time of your passing. Ask yourself whether you are satisfied with your preferred list.
After your passing, someone will receive your money, house and other belongings. Make sure that the beneficiaries’ information is up-to-date. It is vital to specify who gets what from your estate. This will ease tensions with anybody who feels that they are entitled to the assets you leave behind. For example, maybe you would like your car to go to your brother and assets such as your house and other belongings to be divided among your children. Also, consult your two witnesses once you update your will and ask them if they would be willing to stand as your witnesses should your will end up being contested in a court of law by unhappy relatives.
Have regular check-ins with your executor
The testator or testatrix, which is the person that draws up a will, must nominate a company or person to administer their estate – known as an executor or executrix appointed by the Master of the High Court. They will be responsible for gathering your assets, paying off all your debts and distributing the net assets of your estate in accordance with your will. Regular check-ins with your executor are necessary.
“Bank Windhoek’s Trust and Estate Department offers professional services and advice regarding estate planning and drafting of Wills at no cost. As an executor, the Department’s goals are to make sure that that your loved ones will have peace of mind after you pass on,” said Du Toit.