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Personal Admin – is yours up to date?

My dad sent me an email this morning about a possible blog topic. It is not the happiest of topics and not something I enjoy talking about but also know the importance of discussing it.

A friend of a friend of theirs recently lost her husband. It was her second marriage BUT the husband had never updated this will – so his first wife (who he divorced 20 years ago) gets all the assets! It seems the retirement annuities and policies had the current wife named as beneficiary but still everything else, on paper, goes to the first wife.

This isn’t the first story like this. I have heard a few cases where there is either no will at all or it is not updated correctly so the surviving people loose out. Or the children don’t have guardians so get placed in the “system” or find themselves in custody battles.

Drawing up a will really doesn’t take long. Once you have the basic one, it is easy to amend should you need to add a child, a policy etc. FNB even have one you can do online so there is no reason why you shouldn’t have one. It is something that you need to take the time to do, especially if you have children!!

It is also not just about who gets your money but about making sure that those you leave behind are looked after. My dad is pedantic about this. He updates his will annually, he recently made a few changes and let both my brother and I know what they were as well as what to do should something happen to him. It was a morbid conversation but I know it will make life so much easier for us, especially my mother.

Do you have a will? Is it up to date? Do those who need to know, know where it is?

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9 Comments

  1. MeeA
    25 February, 2014 / 11:03 am

    I’ve been at David about this for years but we just never seem to get around to it… We really need to get it sorted out!

  2. deborah
    25 February, 2014 / 11:45 am

    Im also terrible at this I really need to get all my things up to date-currently my pension is divided between my sisters kids YIKES- i have 2 of my own kids i need to worry about. Thanks for the reminder

  3. 25 February, 2014 / 12:56 pm

    As soon as we got married we changed our wills. Then we had a baby and changed them again. Now his dad is really ill so we have to change them again to accommodate our mothers. I believe a will is something that should be re-looked at at least once a year.
    ALSO… don’t forget to let each other know if you have death policies on your accounts etc so your estate is protected.

  4. 25 February, 2014 / 12:57 pm

    Also… you posted a comment on my nails and I clicked something on my tablet and it disappeared!!!!! ๐Ÿ™

  5. Ansa
    25 February, 2014 / 3:39 pm

    We had a huge disagreement in the broker’s office about how each wants their bodies disposed of after we don’t need them anymore, because he caught us off guard. Had no idea it’s included in wills. Guess it makes it easier when you can’t speak for your body anymore.

  6. Mrs FF
    25 February, 2014 / 5:19 pm

    I never saw the need for this until the little one came along, even though I’ve been putting it off but thanks for the reminder. It can get messy if there is no will. My FIL passed away at 81 and would you believe he had no will ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™

  7. 25 February, 2014 / 5:53 pm

    Been married for nearly 35 years to the same man…still have the same kids…so all is still fine.

  8. Ankia
    25 February, 2014 / 6:21 pm

    We both have very basic wills for mainly the sole purpose of appointing a guardian for James & any future kids who may be born (so we don’t have to update if we have another kid) as well as stipulate that a trust ifo the kids must be formed if we both die at the same time. We specified trustees as well as a guardian & an executor. Apart from that we may as well have died intestate. I also have lists of all our accounts in the back & gave copies to the executor (who is also the guardian & also an attorney who does estate wind-ups) and gave her the details of our long term insurance broker who will deal with claiming etc. So yip, pretty sorted. It’s very important.

    Professional opinion though – if you don’t have kids it’s actually better to die without a will rather than with one that is not up to date, like your dad’s friend. Had he died without a will his ex wouldn’t have gotten anything.

  9. 1 March, 2014 / 7:46 pm

    we do… eventually after the kids were about 2.

    But I want to get my things more in order – put a list of everything in one place.

    I have told D I’m donating all my organs if anyone wants them ๐Ÿ™‚

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