When you read through the following points think about them in the scenario where you have just had a major stroke or from your loved-one’s perspective one week after you have died. If you feel the least bit uncomfortable about even one of these questions you need to consult your estate planner urgently

  1.  Communicate your wishes
Do you have a current, valid, executable will? YES NO
Has your will been reviewed in the last 3 years? YES NO
Do you know who your executors / trustees are ? YES NO
Have you given power of attorney should you be incapacitated? YES NO
Do you have a living will? YES NO
Do you have specific instructions for your burial / cremation ? YES NO
Are you an organ donor? YES NO
Do you have a letter of wishes for your trustee / attorney ? YES NO

2.  Protect your family and loved ones

Have you briefed your family on what to expect when you die? YES NO
Do you know the consequences of your ANC / marital status? YES NO
Is there a list of passwords, PIN numbers for all your accounts ? YES NO
Do your family members know who your advisors are? YES NO
Do you have enough life cover? YES NO
Do you have enough disability and trauma cover? YES NO
Do you have a nominated guardian for minor children? YES NO
Do you have any funeral cover in place? YES NO
Do you have an income plan for the first few months after death? YES NO
Did you provide for maintenance / kids from previous marriage ? YES NO

3.  Protect your legacy

Is your short term insurance up to date YES NO
Is your inventory (assets & liabilities) up to date? YES NO
Have you set up a family trust? YES NO
Did you provide for claims against your estate? YES NO
Does your will protect your heirs against bankruptcy? YES NO
Does your will protect your heirs against unscrupulous scavengers? YES NO
Did you arrange a take-over of your business interests? YES NO
Did you nominate beneficiaries for your pension / annuities? YES NO
Will your estate be solvent and have enough liquidity (cash)? YES NO
Do you hold offshore assets? YES NO

 

4.  Who takes charge?

Do you have a list of usernames and passwords ? YES NO
Do your loved ones know your attorney and financial advisor? YES NO
Do your business partners know what to do when you die? YES NO
Does your business have a valid buy and sell arrangement? YES NO
Does your attorney hold your final letter of wishes? YES NO
Does your spouse have signing power on your accounts? YES NO
Does your spouse have his/her own bank account? YES NO
YES NO
YES NO

5.  Other considerations

Have you had a tax specialist look at your will and estate? YES NO
Have you considered donating to a charity, eg CANSA? YES NO
Is there a need for a testamentary trust? YES NO
Do you expect to inherit a large estate from a parent or otherwise? YES NO
Do you have a disabled dependant in your family? YES NO
Have you made provision for your licenced firearms? YES NO
Who knows about your safety deposit box at the bank? YES NO