The art of planning ahead: anticipating the unexpected.

Whether your priorities are to ensure that your children are taken care of should you no longer be there, or whether you are an adventure to build an empire, the art of planning ahead, is anticipating the unexpected. Estate Planning is inherently a long term plan, and as such, it is important to eliminate trial and error. Wills and trusts can be utilised in the structuring of estates so as to limit the tax burden thereupon significantly. Aspects such as continuity and liquidity should be taken into account when structuring an estate.

Using wills and trusts in the planning and administration of an estate can help achieve the most tax efficient solutions possible. Some of the tools available include:

 

Drafting of wills

There is a misconception that the purpose of a will is purely to let the world know where you want your assets to go to when you die. In reality, a will regulates not only the distribution of your assets, but also issues such as who you would trust to administer your estate as the executor.

 

Administration and drafting of inter vivos trusts

An inter vivos trust (a trust between living persons) is created during a person’s lifetime and functions like a channel through which assets pass to the beneficiaries during the lifetime and/or after the death of the benefactor.

 

Administration and drafting of testamentary trusts

A Mortis Causa trust, or testamentary trust, is set up in terms of the will of a person and comes into effect after their death, its validity clearly linked to the soundness of the will.

Administration of deceased estates

A deceased estate comes into existence when someone dies, leaving property or a will behind. The estate is to be administered and distributed in terms of the deceased’s will or failing which, intestate succession.

Matters involving the security of loved-ones, or the fulfilment of a deceased’s final wishes, should be done correctly and with the necessary knowledge, the first time around. When considering the various legal requirements that have to be met when determining the particulars of a legacy, it becomes apparent why expert advice is needed in the handling and planning of these affairs.