Creating a comprehensive estate plan to deal with your assets and provide for your loved ones after your death is an important financial duty. Most of us cannot bear the thought of death, however you owe it to yourself and your family to plan ahead now for the distribution of your assets upon the unfortunate event your death.
The reality is that anything can happen and it’s important to be prepared. If you plan your estate and how your assets will be distributed once you pass away, you’re taking significant steps toward securing the financial future of the people that matter most to you in life.
The estate planning process involves the structuring of assets in the most tax effective way in order to ensure protection and preservation of assets from one generation to the next. As mentioned in previous posts, this process includes the drafting or reviewing of your will.
Factors that should be taken into account include:
– Ensuring that the structuring of assets in the estate and the will are synchronised to make the execution of your wishes feasible;
– Providing for minor children;
– Providing for children or other family members with special needs;
– Providing for sufficient liquidity in the estate after death. In South Africa, it’s reported that numerous estates don’t have the liquidity required to settle their debts, which can result in rough financial periods for dependents who need to suddenly fend for themselves. This could also lead to the disposal of assets such as a primary residence, which could leave children and/or a surviving spouse destitute.
– Taxes payable during life and at death, including income tax, capital gains tax, and estate duty;
– The nomination of an executor and ensuring that such executor is granted the powers necessary to fulfill the role properly;
– Business succession planning. If you are self-employed, owning a business could affect your personal financial matters upon death.
Disclaimer: The article is provided for general information purposes only. Whilst care has been taken to ensure accuracy, the content provided is not intended to stand alone as legal advice. An expert should be consulted for advice based on the facts and circumstances of each transaction/case.