By Champ Thekiso and Zale Hechter
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced more of us onto our laptops and into remote working environments. We are spending more time on mobile phones and tablets and those of us who were unfamiliar with operating technological devices have now been introduced to the convenience of smart technology.
Now you no longer need to leave your home to buy your groceries, pay your bills, see your doctor, consult a financial advisor or spend time with family and friends. At the same time we are living in an unprecedented time in history with much uncertainty with more loved ones passing on sooner than expected.
All this change and uncertainty has awaken us to the fact that we need to reorder some of our priorities and that some of the things we may have normally placed at the bottom of the priority list need to be reconsidered. Many of us are faced with suffering and death. The Covid-19 pandemic is a strong motivator to consider the drawing up of a Will as we face these realities.
The drawing up of a Will, although sometimes neglected or postponed due to the overwhelming busyness of life, is the most valuable tool available to ensure that your children are taken care of properly and provided for if you happen to pass away prematurely.
Studies have shown that an increasing number of women are becoming breadwinners in South Africa and we know that women in Africa make a significant economic contribution to their communities. For this reason, it is critical that every women who is providing for dependants has a personalised Will.
If you don’t have a Will and you pass away ‘intestate’, the assets you’ve worked so hard for won’t be distributed according to your wishes, but according to the decisions of the state. When a person passes away their bank accounts are frozen and this affects family members significantly. Wrapping up an estate is probably not something most people are familiar with because we don’t usually deal with someone passing away too often. A Will allows your wishes to be made known and followed through even after you pass away.
With that said, it can be detrimental to simply use an ‘off-the-shelf’ Will even from a FSP (financial services provider). A Will needs to be catered for according to your specific needs and estate. Also, you may be unaware of simple errors that can be made in the drafting of a Will. For example, if you have a beneficiary of your Will sign as a witness, your Will becomes null and void.
Both of us lost family members and inheritances because the documentation from their Wills was not done correctly and their Wills weren’t updated accurately. It caused our families additional stress and trauma, and resulted in drawn-out and difficult financial challenges. This is why we became social entrepreneurs and started a tech company to develop the online one-stop-shop for Wills called SmartWill; to safeguard the legacy and financial inheritances of the generations to come.
With the online Wills platform SmartWill, you can draw up your Will and ensure that everything is taken care of online. You can do it in your own time and stagger your sessions to come back and complete something at a later stage. SmartWill is also designed in a way that is understandable and is based on your personal needs because everyone’s financial needs are unique. The process is affordable, cost-effective and covers all aspects of your financial legacy including giving you a digital snapshot of all of your assets, policies and investments in one, secure place.
Lastly, with SmartWill, your Will is overseen and scrutinised by a team of legal professionals saving you the additional cost of having a lawyer read through and make any changes to your will.
This month, we are offering all Africa.com readers of this article, a 50% discounted Smartwill if you use the voucher code ‘africa.com’ at checkout when signing up for a Will on www.smartwill.co.za
Don’t delay, sign up for a will with SmartWill today and make sure your children’s inheritance stays intact.