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Powerful women, are prepared – Part One (Wills)

Put your thinking cap on. Girls, make yourself a strong cup of coffee because I want to have a strong word with you today.

I believe we are stepping into our roles as women, wives, mothers, career women, business owners and decision makers with more power and certainty than before. I am (as I am sure you have picked up before) expectant of the magnificent accomplishments that the power-women in my life are (and will be) achieving daily. Ladies, we have great power and potential to offer and now is the time. Good, so we are agreed on these points. But…

I am concerned. I find myself suddenly confronted with my father’s estate and realising how ill-equipped I am to handle the “big-girl” decisions – wills, estate, taxes, life policies, bank accounts, car payments and and and. My concern is not the estate – it has only made me realise that I have not really thought about any of these things before. Sure, I have a financial advisor (somewhere) and I have some life policies somewhere – but I haven’t really thought any of this through properly. And I should. As should you.

My suggestion is too take these issues as the pop up in the coming weeks / months and handle them here, online, so that we can all benefit. Let’s help each other to prepare, to plan, to take charge of our families, finances and personal freedom.

Do you have a will?

Simple question? And if you’re answer is yes – fantastic! But even then, I want to encourage you to continue reading.

A will allows you to determine the manner in which your estate is to be divided amongst you loved ones. It also allows you to nominate the Executor of your estate. The executor is the person who assumes responsibility for winding up your estate. This should be trustworthy person that can be tasked with managing your affairs as if it were their own. It is good idea to inform your prospective executor of the task you have set for them in your will! Note: if you don’t appoint your own executor, your family will have to agree on one (potential issue!) or the  Master of the High Court will have to appoint one. This invariably delays the process.

If you do not have will in place, your estate is likely to be divided as follows (courtesy of www.momsmatter.co.za):

If you die without a will, your estate will be distributed in terms of the rules of Intestate Succession and what happens to your estate will depend on your marital status, whether you have children, and whether you have other surviving relatives.

  • If you’re married, your spouse will inherit your entire estate.
  • If you’re married with children, your estate will be shared between your spouse and your children.
  • If you have children but no spouse, you children will inherit your entire estate which will be deposited into the Guardian’s Fund until they reach the age of majority.
  • If you don’t have a spouse or any children your parents will get everything.
  • If you don’t have parents, your siblings will inherit and so on and so forth.
  • If you have divorced your spouse and have not updated your will within 3 months, your ex-spouse will inherit fully in terms of your will.

What to think about for your will:

  • Have you decided on an executor?
  • Does your estate form part of a trust and if so has a trustee been appointed? (If you are not sure, speak to your lawyer as soon as possible!)
  • Who will be your children’s guardian?
  • Special instructions or bequests? (How will your estate be divided and / or special items to be distributed to specific parties)
  • Consider compiling a list of life policies, retirement annuities and other policies (with policy numbers) to attach to the will.
  • While you are at it, pen down all the bank and investment accounts (with numbers) that you have
  • Specific burial instructions / requests if appropriate

This is just a suggestion and I would strongly urge you to seek legal and financial council to assist with compiling a will.

Don’t assume that your affairs are in order. Make sure.

Being powerful has a lot to do with being accountable for who you are and how you conduct yourself. Leave a legacy to be proud of.

Hobbies

Many books have been written about how women approach life. I recently attended a conference hosted by International Marriage Speaker and author of “Laugh your Way to a Better Marriage” – Mark Gungor. Apart from the valuable tips offered on bettering your marriage, I fell in love with his description of the he- and she-brains.

Men (and I take no credit for this!) apparently need to focus on one activity at a time and they group them in “boxes”. One therefore deals with sport in the sport box and children in the children box. Children don’t belong in the sport box – simple right? These boxes are alson not inter-connected. They do not reference each other and they do not interfere with each other. (Please accept my loose account of Mark’s theory. For more (or more accurate!) information please refer to his website)

Women, on the other hand have a host of boxes with similar titles – work, kids, house, friends, neighbours etc. The difference appears to be that our boxes are inter-connected, intertwined and inseparable. We cross-reference and recollect and draw conclusions. And we never stop. Men at least occasionally take a breather from their own thoughts. We just don’t. Phew.

There are kids, business / work, your home, your marriage or relationship, your friends (and these of course vary in intensity and degrees of involvement!) and an exhaustive list. I believe we are simply wired this way and I personally love the buzz of it.

I do however realise that we need to implement a self-imposed ruling or restoration, recuperation and resuscitation (r-r-r). We need space and time to breathe life into our spirits, to reignite passions and to get ready for what ever it is that is next on the agenda.

How do you r-r-r? I have taken up art-class. I draw. I get lost in pastel dust and pencil lines. I find that despite my feminine wiring (which drives me to go go go) I switch of for two hours a week and it is absolute bliss. Have you found your sanctuary yet?

My challange: find your r-r-r space. Try a new hobby. Scrapbooking, cooking, painting….. Take your pick my friend!

Oh and of course, have a cuppa joe – who ever said that life’s pleasures should be enjoyed in single doses only ;)

Peaceful Wife

Become Empowered, Healed, and Confident in Christ

With a Cuppa Coffee

Hearty chats for women about this, that and whatnot.