WINDHOEK – Steve Shallenberger, author of the book ‘Becoming your best: 12 principles of highly successful leaders’, famously said: “Action today can prevent a crisis tomorrow.” While we tend to postpone the idea of planning our estate and drawing up a will, dying without a proper estate plan in place may cause havoc for the loved ones we leave behind.
“An estate plan has several elements: a will; assignment of power of attorney; and a living will or healthcare proxy (medical power of attorney). When putting together a plan you must be mindful of laws governing estates,” explained Surihe Gaomas-Guchu, Corporate Communications Manager at Standard Bank Namibia. For some a trust will also makes sense.
Taking an inventory of your assets is a good place to start. Your assets include: your investments, retirements savings, insurance policies, and real estate or business interests. “Ask yourself three questions: Whom do you want to inherit your assets? Whom do you want to handle your financial affairs if you are ever incapacitated? Whom do you want to make medical decisions for you if you become unable to make them yourself?” said Gaomas-Guchu.
According to her everybody needs a will. “A will tells the world exactly where you want your assets distributed when you die,” noted Gaomas-Guchu. It is also the best place to name guardians for your children. Dying without a will, also known as dying intestate can be costly to your heirs and leaves you no say over who gets your assets. “Even if you have a trust, you still need a will to take are of any holdings outside your trust.”
Trusts aren’t just for the healthy. Trusts are legal mechanism that let you put conditions on how and when your assets will be distributed upon your death.
“Standard Bank Namibia is able to support you with your estate planning. We can assist you with: drafting of a will, safe custody services, fiduciary advice, as well as offering trust and estate administration,” said Gaomas-Guchu.
By Staff Reporter