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Sort out your admin

Feb 22, 2016

In the final episode of Change in your Pocket, we highlight the importance of dealing with various admin issues before you get married.

– Video supplied by BrightRock

Welcome to the Change Exchange, where we’re discussing rings and cha-ching!

I met a woman once who’d been married for several years before her husband passed away. On his death, she discovered that he’d not updated his will, and had left everything to his mother.

Now, maybe he intended it that way, or maybe he didn’t, but his mother chose to take him at his word, so it’s important to sort out your admin when you get married.

Firstly, make sure you have a will. There are standardised wills that you can buy online, and these may be sufficient if you’re single and have few assets. But things like estate duty and capital gains tax get really tricky, and they change every year. So if you have an estate worth more than R3 million, it’s worth seeking professional help in drawing up your will. You also need to understand how your marriage contract affects your will.

A will is also the way you protect your children when you no longer can, both financially through a testamentary trust, and physically, by selecting an appropriate guardian should both parents pass away.

Also update the beneficiary forms on both your life policies and your retirement fund. Now, there’s a little detail you need to know about retirement funds: they are dealt with separately to your will, as they fall under the Pension Funds Act, which requires that your retirement funds are paid out to your financial dependents. This can include minor children from another marriage, or even a former spouse if you’re still paying maintenance.

So, as much as it may be a hassle, you need to make sure your admin is sorted before you put the ring on.

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