Our lives are but specs of dust falling through the fingers of time.
Like sands of the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.
The EFBOE competition is coming to an end on 31 October 2020 and we are excited to announce the winner. Please ensure that all your new signed Wills are returned to EFBOE for safe keeping before the end of the month.
Just as the end of the competition is drawing near, so the end of 2020 is also in sight!
What a perfect opportunity to ensure that your clients’ Wills are in order before the holiday season break and before they are on their way to their holiday destination. As stated in the article below, estate planning is imperative and a valid Will is part of that plan. November is also Disability Rights Awareness month. Remember to ensure that clients who have children with special needs, provide for them by including a testamentary trust in their Wills. This will give clients peace of mind to know that their children will be cared for properly after they pass on.
ARE THERE DISCRIMINATORY ELEMENTS IN THE INTESTATE SUCCESSION ACT?
Read more about this in our next edition
IS DEATH THE END OF YOU?
The truth about the answer to this question is that yóu may be gone, but your legacy will create the reality for the loved ones that you leave behind.
As little as people would like to talk about death, there is a lot of planning to be done and arrangements to be made befóre passing on. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure - you can ease the burden of those you love. Remember that they must handle everything that you leave behind in a time of tragedy and great sorrow. Thus, when we talk about death, we are really talking about the lives of your next-of-kin after “something happens to you”. The reality is that something is not going to happen to you; at some point you are going to die. The best thing that you can do is to be at peace with this thought and to ensure that your financial planning is in order.
Things to get in order
The most important is to not leave loved ones behind with a financial burden. Emotionally everyone must work through their loss individually, but on the financial side, you can make provision. With life- and estate-shortfall insurances, you can create better financial security for your family’s future. Therefore, it is very important to do thorough estate planning.
Ensure that you have a valid, original Will which was drafted and signed correctly. Do not take shortcuts when it comes to a Will. Court roles are full of cases where families bicker over Will stipulations causing rifts and never-ending family feuds, all because of ill-prepared Wills.
Keep your Will in a safe place and inform your closest relatives – i.e. your spouse and children – where it is. They would not know if you made another Will elsewhere or if there are different versions of your Will. The effect of an estate that must be administered intestate (without a Will), can have far-reaching effects. A recent court case between FNB Fiduciary and Anappa and Others in KwaZulu-Natal is proof of this. The wife was appointed as executor and in the process a closed corporation was sold. The court ruled that, even though it was an incorrect executor’s appointment, the decisions made by her in that capacity, could not be voided. If a Will cannot be found, persons that were not intended to inherit, could end up with all the assets.
Should your marital status have changed, ensure that it has been updated at the Department of Home Affairs. If they do not know that you are a divorcee or widow/er and it is wrongly indicated on the death certificate that you are married, it is very difficult to change this, especially in the case of an intestate estate. Normally, the Master of the High Court will refuse to issue an executor’s appointment.
Ensure that your correct ID number is registered at the receiver of revenue (SARS). During 1986/7, South African ID numbers were changed, resulting in a change of the last three digits. If this has not been updated, the executor will find it difficult to gain access to finalise your tax matters.
Keep the registration certificates of vehicles safe and let someone know where they are. If they go missing, the licensing office will require the executor to personally re-apply for them.
If you are a member of a closed corporation or owner of a company, ensure that your annual returns have been submitted to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) and are up to date. Sometimes a business becomes inactive and then the executor must deregister it. Sometimes a business has already been deregistered because of outstanding returns, which makes it difficult for the executor to try and prevent it from being declared forfeited to the state. Either way, this will hamper the administration process.
Bank accounts are frozen upon death. Normally, banks would assist with an overdraft, but that will incur interests while there could be more than enough money in the account to which the next-of-kin could have had access. Think practically about this and devise a workable plan that will benefit your next-of-kin.
These are the main point to focus on, but there could be more. The important thing is to think about these aspects and to get proper plans in place to ease the burden on your loved ones.
Source: Article by Nico van Gijsen, Landbouweekblad, 20/12/2019.
PROVIDING FUNDS FOR A TRUSTY HOUSEPLANT
A Will gives people great decision-making power over their own property. Normally a person’s assets are accumulated for a spouse, children, other loved ones, charities or even fury friends.
But what if you are unmarried, have no children or pets, but you are the owner of a 42-year-old (now 48-year-old) philodendron, which is your prize possession? Rona Scoratow of Pittsburgh is this person. She decided that the plant should not be burned/buried with her, but made provision in her Will for the philodendron to go to a friend, along with a sum of $5000 to care for the plant.
At the time of this publication in 2014, Scoratow was still a healthy 63-year-old, but the thought that her beloved plant might not be cared for after she passes on, filled her with horror. When she acquired the plant in 1972, it was only one foot tall, but now all but fills her living room. It is probably still in her care, being looked after lovingly by its owner.
Until next time!
The “Let’s Talk EFBOE” Team