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CAPE TOWN - Masters of Courts latest figures show that more 70 percent of South African working population don't have wills. Is your financial planning inclusive of will drafting?  

The 11 to 15 September is dedicated to National Wills Week. It becomes evident that many South Africans do not consider having a will in place. Lets now take a look at what you need to consider when you want to have a will in place.

Legal Counsel at Absa Financial Services, Keith Setaka notes that you need to know what happens to the insurance policies you have in place. Proceeds will be paid directly to your named beneficiaries or to the estate account, wherein the proceeds will cover liabilities and the surplus paid out to the estate beneficiaries. 

Setaka also points out that disbursement of assets to beneficiaries who are minors, is commonly overlooked. In that case, benefits will be transferred to the Guardian's Fund administered by the Master of the High Court, which will pay out all their inheritance when they reach the age of eighteen. Keith further advises that, "It is important to know that the length of time that it takes to wind up an estate varies – simple estates with only one or two properties and a cash inheritance, for example, could take approximately six months, while complex estates or those placed under audit by the government could take years. Typically, the minimum length of time it takes to administer an estate is six months".

"Having a will allows you to plan your estate according to your own wishes and needs, and ensures that the process through which your assets are distributed to the beneficiaries is simple and painless for them. By putting a legally binding will in place, you secure your loved ones’ financial future," Setaka said.