In June we commemorate and celebrate both Youth Day and Father’s Day, one being a tribute to the resilience of our youth and the other being a light-hearted celebration of Fathers. Very different but with one thing very much in common: that is that Fathers and the young are inextricably intertwined and the influence of Fathers on their children is a critical factor in their growth and potential future.
This applies to Mothers too so it got me thinking about our obligation to give our kids the best possible start in life. We do that in many ways – by encouraging them to be decent law-abiding people, educating them and leaving them a legacy of whatever wealth we may have built to give them a good start in life.
There will be three areas of focus over the next couple of months to outline the three most important aspects of the legacy we leave. These are the will, the Estate Plan and Life insurance. Only with all these in place can we have the peace of mind of knowing that our families will not be facing masses of red tape to inherit what is rightfully theirs and/or be financially destitute.
It is incredible to me that many will spend a lifetime building wealth and yet not specify at the end of their life who they wish to leave this wealth to. This is the simple function of the Last Will and Testament, a legal document that should be drawn up by someone well versed in the intricacies of estates and regularly updated – and it does need to be an official legal document.
Firstly, without an up to date Will the estate will come under ‘intestate administration’ and the court will allocate the assets according to “per-stripes” that outlines who will inherit your assets and it can get very complicated. Without a will, the court will name an administrator to administer your estate. This can be time-consuming, expensive, and extremely frustrating for your loved ones who may not have the means to pay for the funeral.
It is also important to revisit your will regularly as time goes on and ensure it is up to date. Circumstances change and in the case of death or divorce, in particular, significant changes may need to be made.
But he or she wrote it down!
A will needs to be an official legal document and an Estate Administrator of your choice needs to be legally appointed or your family will have headaches upon your demise. Something scribbled on a piece of paper or downloaded off a website can be easily disputed by disgruntled family members and it does not constitute a legal document.
Parents need to remember that appointing someone as a Godparent is not legally binding and it is vitally important that legally appointed guardians of your children are named and arrangements have been made. This is for the protection of the children and their assets if both parents die simultaneously. This, however, is leading us to the issue of Estate planning which we will tackle in the next article so watch this space.
A way to a will and wealth creation
Quintus Wealth can assist you right now, through our relationships and associations with lawyers and estate planners, to obtain a legally drawn up Will and appoint an Estate Administrator at a greatly reduced price during the month of June, so contact me to do so.
Let us talk about of wealth planning and building your legacy, by defining your aspirations, charting your course – and ensuring that you remain on course for a great future!