The purpose of estate planning is to ensure that succession takes place in a way that minimises taxes and costs and adequately protects the inherited assets and your beneficiaries. The objective of estate planning is therefore to cater for your needs while you are still alive as well as to cater for the needs of those you leave behind.
Evaluating your estate plan you need to consider the following:
· Is there enough liquidity in your estate?
· Is it possible to minimise costs associated with your estate, like Estate duty, Executor’s fees, Capital gains tax, etc.
· Is there enough flexibility in your plan to ensure that future changing circumstances do not affect
your planning or your beneficiaries negatively?
A will is a written document in which you determine how your assets are to be distributed after your death. The will is the important instrument, best developed during estate planning, to ensure, firstly, that the persons whom you intend to benefit at your death are indeed the persons who will benefit, but, secondly, that provision is made for the protection of your assets and your beneficiaries. A valid up to date will, drawn as part of the Estate Planning exercise affords your estate the opportunity to benefit from estate duty and other concessions. You can also select your estate’s executor and any trustees, if necessary.
A Trust is used to separate enjoyment from ownership and gives you the opportunity to make sure that beneficiaries are taken care of.
People often make use of Trusts in a will, these trusts are only created on the death of an individual and are called testamentary trusts or Trust Mortis Causa. These trusts are there to protect your minor dependents and the capital or assets only become the minor beneficiary’s property at a predefined age. Trusts that are created during your lifetime are also called Trust Inter Vivos, and these types of trusts are sometimes used for estate freezing purposes.
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