The purpose of estate planning is to ensure that your heirs may reap, after your death, the benefits of your life-long toils.
When a person dies, all the assets and liabilities of the deceased, as at the date of death, form part of the estate. If this estate is not planned early and thoroughly, it may unnecessarily expose the estate to estate tax.
You should at all times try to minimise the potential estate taxes through the proper planning of your will, and also ensure that there is sufficient cash to cover this tax. If not, it may lead to a forced sale of assets.
The help of a professional estate planner is essential. Contact one of our advisers in this regard.
When the estate of a deceased is settled without proper estate planning during the person's living years, his or her heirs may be exposed to several disadvantages:
A cash shortfall in the estate may further cause:
Any decisions that you make regarding obtaining and use of assets during your lifetime - and the division of these assets after your death - are estate planning decisions. Estate planning is therefore necessary for all persons, regardless of the size of their estates.
If you have complete clarity as to what you want to achieve with your estate, you may start the planning process by collecting the following documents and facts for your financial advisor:
Draw up a list of your financial needs and wishes for the future, as well as your wishes for the division of your assets after you die. Your asset mix may have to be adjusted, which means that you may have to form a company, a closed corporation or a trust. This may also mean that you would have to draw up a new will or adjust your current will. To do this, you should:
Before you start with a comprehensive estate planning exercise, you should know what the costs involved are.
There is a fee for professional advice. Negotiate with your advisor about this before you start with the estate planning. During your first meeting already your estate planner will give you an indication of the total costs of a comprehensive estate plan.
The following costs are typically payable from the funds in the estate during the execution of that estate:
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