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What you need to know about writing your will.

1. Your will is the best way to ensure that your kids are taken care of, if you are no longer available to do it yourself. Consider leaving a letter of wishes as well, which give guidelines as to how you would like your children to be raised, the type of education you would prefer,religious choices and other practices that you would like continued.

2. It is imperative that there is adequate money in your estate to take care of your kids for as long as is needed. Life cover is a cost effective way of making sure that there would be enough,not only to settle debts and taxes but also to give your children financial security.

3. Make sure your will is updated regurlaly especially in the case of life changing events such as having a new baby,divorce,buying or of a new house. As part of this process make sure that your beneficiaries in your policies are correct and up to date.

4. Ensure that you have a good understanding of your marital status and the implications it can have. If you are married in community of property, you and your spouse own your assets together and these would have to be shared on death, before any bequests are honoured. If you are married in terms of the accrual sysytem you may require liquidity in your estate to settle an accrual claim.

5. A “special trust” is an effective way of providing for the financial future and well being of minor children and can be created very simply by including it as a clause in your will. The trust will therefore only come into existence when you pass away, and will also enjoy certain tax benefits.

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