Drawing up a Will and Testament is often forgotten and, in most cases, passing on without a will can turn out to be an expensive and time-consuming process for beneficiaries.
Old Mutual has simplified the will drafting process, by introducing an online platform that makes it possible for anyone over the age of 16 to create and amend a will from anywhere and at any time – and it’s free. However, there are additional value add services that attract fees, these include estate planning, collection, and storage of signed will and checking with the Department of Home Affairs’ records to see whether you are still alive and/or the notification of a contact person in the event of your death.
It is important to plan, and having a valid will ensures that assets (home, cars, investments, furniture) are allocated to a chosen beneficiary once you pass on. Dying without a will, makes it difficult for your wishes to be honoured and family members may have to wait for extended periods as the estate is settled.
“This simple and free online solution enables anyone to complete a will and update it whenever necessary. Having a will is part of sound financial planning and creating a legacy for your loved ones, it should not be seen as a taboo subject. Anyone can have a will; we must dispel the belief that you only need a will if you are wealthy. This digital platform also challenges the belief that drawing up a will is a complicated exercise, this is not necessarily true, what’s complicated is dying without a will,” says Vuyo Mpako, MD of Old Mutual New Growth and Innovation.
Being able to create a will, in the privacy of your home, has been simplified through a step-by-step questionnaire drawn up by experts. By simply answering a list of questions, this will help you decide who you wish to nominate as a beneficiary and for which asset, etc., and then electronically submitting the completed document.
A Will and Testament is a legal document and must be signed (and witnessed) to ensure it is complete and valid. Once the signed document is submitted to Old Mutual, a team of experts will review the document and, where necessary, point out gaps that must be considered. This panel of experts is also available online to advise where help is needed.
“When you die without a will, the state will intervene through laws set in place to deal with such cases, and decide how your estate will be split up. Because there’s no will in place, your estate may not be handled according to your wishes, and this may result in family disputes – this can be especially damaging to financial dependents such as your children, spouse, or life partner.”
“One of the major advantages of drawing up a digital will is that time can be taken to consult with family members so that all aspects of the document can be discussed and the wishes of the Testator (the person drawing up the will) are understood,” says Mpako.