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Newsletter 11

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Newsletter 11
Dear Colleague
 
April delivered the expected news of South Africa’s downgraded status, which will be stuck in our minds and which we will have to live with and through for a time to come, or so it is predicted.  We cannot help but refer to Dawie Roodt’s brilliant notes, filled with interesting statements and facts about this situation. Despite all the negative, but expected, bad news, quite an enjoyable read with positive statements also shining through.  Yes, from the market’s reaction, it is clear that the damage has been done long ago already and we are reaping the benefits, or rather non-benefits thereof, now. 
 
Despite what we hear and see, there is always hope! 
 
HOPE IS BEING ABLE TO SEE THAT THERE IS LIGHT DESPITE ALL OF THE DARKNESS.  Desmond Tutu
 
We can hope for change!  Dawie aptly stated: “But if we want the free and prosperous nation that so many of us wish for, we will need to make sure we choose somebody who will be honest in identifying our problems, and honest in fixing them.”  Each and everyone has a responsibility here…….
 
 
WHY SHOULD A SIGNED WILL BE RETURNED FOR SAFE CUSTODY?
 
Read more in the upcoming edition!
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A PRACTICAL GUIDELINE FOR A DECEASED'S NEXT OF KIN
 
People normally do not think about death and therefore do not plan accordingly to ensure that everything is in place.  Life can also be so hectic, that practical challenges surrounding death are not contemplated.
 
When one dies, funds in banking accounts are not accessible and assets are frozen until an Executor has been appointed to administer the estate.  Although the Executor can then take control of assets and accounts, it takes months and sometimes even longer to finalize an estate. 
 
Provision needs to be made for loved ones to have access to sufficient funds to pay for funeral costs and to maintain the household for a few months.  You, as a financial advisor, are in the fortunate position to advise your clients on investments and insurance policies that can cover the next of kin while all the other processes fall into place.  It is a good idea to inform your clients to have separate banking accounts as joint accounts will be closed.
 
When a person passes away, the family is in shock and it is difficult to deal with death as well as all the accompanying issues.  Suggest to your clients to keep a file with the following information stored in a safe, but still accessible place:
 
  • Notes on where the safes are, extra keys, ammunition safes, other documents, passwords and pin codes.
     
  • Important documents related to your assets and liabilities – title deeds, registration certificates for vehicles, lease and loan agreements, insurance policies, share certificates, copies of firearm licenses, income tax returns and records including valuations of properties for Capital Gains Tax as well as proof of improvements (invoices and receipts).  Also medical accounts and receipts.  In effect, áll documents that can assist the family to provide details and the Executor to report and administer the estate.
  • A list of monthly, recurring expenses and debit orders.  Add a bank statement with full descriptions of debit orders reflected on the statement.
  • Details of companies, closed corporations and trusts in which the client or his/her family has shares/an interest in or are beneficiaries of.  Copies of company documents, founding statements or trust deeds.
  • Details of bank accounts, including savings accounts and credit cards, investments, life insurance policies, annuities and shares with proof in the form of statements, letters, etc.
  • A complete list of assets (with full details of assets as well as loans to acquaintances and family members) and a detailed list of liabilities with contact details of creditors and debtors as well as statements and documentary proof.
  • Important documents like marriage and birth certificates, ANC contract, living together agreement, divorce decree and settlement agreement (of all previous marriages as well), adoption papers, ID documents of predeceased spouses, children, etc., just to name a few.
  • Copies of various ID documents – client, spouse, children, other dependants or beneficiaries, nominated guardians, etc.
  • Medical Aid information, funeral policies or plans to cover the burial.
  • Written instructions on ceremonial wishes surrounding a traditional funeral or cremation.  Next of kin should be aware of wishes in this regard as well as about donating of organs.
  • A copy of the Will and contact number of the Executor. (The nominated Executor should already have an original Will in safe custody.)
  • A list with names and contact numbers of family members that can be contacted for support and advice.  The name and contact numbers of the following (if applicable):  financial planner, investment manager, banker, attorney, accountant, tax practitioner, insurance broker, medical advisor, doctor, employer, employees, partners, etc.
  • Unlocking codes, passwords, PIN codes and access codes are very important in the electronic era we live in and are quite frequently overlooked in the preparation for this final surrender.  Next-of-kin will need access to computers, cell phones, tablets, online accounts and portfolios, payment portals, e-mails, social media and so forth.
  • Any information and documents which may be applicable, i.e. TV license, DSTV contract, cell phone contracts.  Bond account statements, municipal levy accounts, time share contracts.
  •  Details of things that maybe history for you, but nobody has knowledge of.
Where there are copies in the file also indicate where the original documents are stored.
 
This file should be stored in a safe place and the next of kin should know where it is kept and how they can get access to it. It defies the issue if the file is locked in a safe and no one knows where the keys are.
 
This may seem like a very long list, but it helps with the winding up of an estate process and can make life so much easier for those left behind.
__________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
THE STRANGE CASE OF ARCHIBALD McARTHUR (1844-1925)
 
In his time, Archibald was a celebrity of sorts and lives on in history as the “Dodgeville Hermit”.
 
He was penniless when he arrived in Dodgeville just after the Civil War, but soon became a very successful and affluent attorney; dressed to a T, owned the finest horse in town, started a newspaper and loaned money to neighbors.
 
Then one day, in his middle ages, he experienced a conversion and he never explained his motives or actions in writing.  He gave away all his expensive belongings, sold the newspaper, never practiced law again, grew a beard, became a vegetarian and entered a hermit’s life.  He took a private vow of poverty, stopped using alcohol and tobacco and dressed in shabby clothes.
 
He kept entirely to himself, never married, had no children or known close friends and spent a lot of time in the village cemetery, claiming to communicate with the spirits.  Although everyone knew of him, nobody really knew him.
 
In 1922 when he was 78 years old, he suddenly bought a vehicle, loaded his few belongings in the car, drove to Florida and revised his Will.  He left only $5 to each of his living relatives and nearly all the rest of his more than $3 million (in today’s money) to a stranger who befriended him on a park bench in Jacksonville.
 
Until next time!
The “Let’s Talk EFBOE Team
 

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