Writing your will is such an important thing, it helps you look after the ones you leave behind. You could think of it as your final act of kindness to your loved ones. What many do not realise is that your will is a living document that changes as you progress in life. That is, your will should look different depending on the particular life stage you find yourself in. This blog series is designed to give you specific tips on preparing for and writing your will depending on the life stage you are in.
But first, do you know how to write a will in general? If not, you need not worry, we have written you a checklist that can be a great starting point in writing your will. We highly recommend that you read that post here before carrying on with this post. And if you think you are too young to write a will, you are mistaken. Here’s why.
This post is the second in the series, “How do I write my will depending on my life stage”. In our previous post, we looked at the life stage of being legally single without a partner. If you find yourself in that life stage, you can read that post here. Before reading this post, we suggest reading the previous post as some of the tips can be applicable to you in this life stage. In this post we will look at the life stage of being legally single with a life partner.
Writing your will? Tips if you are single with a life partner
- If you die without a will, your estate will be distributed according to the Intestate Succession Act. This act only deals with married couples, not life partners. Life partners do not benefit under the Intestate Succession Act. It is therefore imperative that you have a will that protects your partner.
- Having a will becomes critical in this life stage if you share a property that is only registered in one person’s name. This is especially so if both of your incomes are needed to pay the bond or where one of you pays all of the household expenses. With no will, your partner may end up with no place to stay and will lose his/her belongings. By law, the surviving partner is not allowed to take anything out of the house, unless s/he can prove it is his/hers by means of a receipt or warranty document.
- Following from the above, if the property is in your name, you could leave the house to your partner or grant him/her a usufruct (which allows your partner use and enjoyment of the property without giving ownership).
- It is important to look at the general liquidity of your estate. You should consider the immediate cash implications your death could have on your partner. You could take out life cover or buy shares and name your partner as the beneficiary. This way, s/he will receive cash from the estate fairly quickly to be able to cover those essential expenses such as bond payments, rates and taxes and everyday living expenses.
Still wondering, “How do I write my will?”. We highly recommend getting professional help in writing up a will. It avoids many unwanted complications that could leave your loved ones in a difficult situation after you have gone. If you do require any advice or assistance in writing a will, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected].
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