Think of your estate plan as a love letter for your dearest ones
All around the world, interest in estate planning has spiked significantly. The demand for wills has reached record highs in the wake of COVID-19, with some businesses and reports seeing enquiry spikes between 300% and 600% during the early months of the pandemic. And South Africa is no exception.
A common uncertainty affecting every person around the globe is driving a renewed understanding of the importance of not only having a plan in case something unexpected happens, but also maintaining this plan.
This incredible health crisis has heightened our sense of how fragile life can be. If COVID-19 has demonstrated anything, it’s that tomorrow can surprise us all. This forces us all to live in the present and recognise that ‘today’ is the best time to get our affairs in order.
Think of your will and estate plan as a ‘love letter’ for the people that most matter to you. In your absence or if you are incapable, they will need a road map. The financial security that a well-constructed estate plan can give them is invaluable, in both the immediate and long-term futures.
8 reasons why leaving a legacy is an act of love like no other
- It protects the legacy you really want to provide for your family.
- You can provide for loved ones in the specific ways that are ideal to you – no matter how complex your family structure may be. If you die without a will, you leave it up to the state to decide how your assets will be divided between your family, which may not be entirely according to your own wishes.
- It offers your dependents and heirs adequate financial security at every stage of their lives. You can think of it as the most substantial financial gift you’ll ever give your loved ones. Long-term careful planning like this removes financial burdens off the shoulders of those you leave behind.
- It provides peace of mind by replacing any uncertainty with confidence and clarity.
- It helps enable your loved ones to cope during an intensely stressful time in their lives and allows for proper grieving and healing to take place.
- It helps you and your loved ones avoid unnecessary costs and legal turmoil.
- It also helps to ensure that nothing of importance (such as your insurance policies or other assets) is omitted or ‘gets lost’ in the administration process. Having to play detective is an incredibly stressful undertaking for a grieving loved one. Proper estate planning removes any instances of painful guesswork.
- It can also help to provide for loved ones in a way that alleviates emotional turmoil or conflict and misunderstandings among them.
No matter the nature of your relationships or family structure, having a carefully considered last will and testament, and a sound estate plan in place is a legacy of love as much as it is about financial security and peace of mind. DM
Discovery Wills and Trust Services, a division of Discovery Central Services (Pty) Limited, a company registered in South Africa with registration number 2016/054628/07 and part of the Discovery group of companies. Discovery Life Limited, registration number 1966/003901/06, is a licensed life insurer, and an authorised financial services and registered credit provider, NCR registration number NCRCP3555.