Newsletter 52 (Jan 2021)
Welcome back! We hope that you had a relaxing and peaceful time over the festive season. May 2021 bring you joy and happiness, despite the trying times we all are facing right now.
Keep the Faith.
The most amazing things in life tend to happen
right at the moment you’re about to give up
Keep the faith
Things will get better.
It might be stormy now,
but it can’t rain forever.
Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.
The current imposed level 3 lockdown measures are hampering some of our services, but it is still business as usual at EFBOE. We will always endeavour to provide the service of excellence that you are used to.
Please note that our offices are operating on skeleton staff but are open to receive documents. Personal visits must be kept to a minimum and arranged beforehand. Be assured that all safety protocols are in place to make it a safe environment for our staff, as well as our visitors.
According to the media reports, Covid-19 infections are on the increase again in South Africa as in the rest of the world. This situation forces people to focus more than ever on their own mortality. This unplanned and unexpected situation created an awareness of how fragile life can be. It highlights the importance of ensuring that your client’s financial affairs are in order.
At this moment, your role as a financial advisor is of utmost importance in providing professional advice when preparing and planning an estate. You have the objective and professional expertise to provide proper counsel and testamentary advice, while being able to offer guidance on nominating EFBOE as the executor and trustee, adopting appropriate tax planning and ensuring that all other important aspects of an estate have been considered.
Clients should update their Wills at least once a year to ensure that they make provision for changes in circumstances. Maybe there was a new addition to the family, someone could have passed away, there could have been a wedding or a divorce. Many things can happen in a year that need to be considered when a Will is updated. It is vital for your clients to leave detailed directions ensuring that their remaining assets are dealt with according to their wishes. They should not wait for a life-threatening event to implement this important part of their financial planning.
Please ensure that signed Wills are returned to EFBOE as soon as possible for safekeeping.
All signed Wills can be delivered to Marietjie van Zyl at head office in Pretoria (Marietjie@efw.co.za
) where it is entered into a register and then collected via courier, or otherwise you can contact your marketer to arrange for a courier pick-up.
Keep in mind that every signed Will returned for safekeeping contributes to your competition points.
KNOW THE CONTENT OF YOUR TRUST DEED
Read more about this in our next edition
NEW MARRIAGE LAWS IN SOUTH AFRICA
During 2020, two new pieces of legislation were approved by President Cyril Ramaphosa regarding marriage laws in South Africa. These laws bring changes to some South African marriages and civil unions. The 2020 Civil Union Amendment Act was gazetted on 22 October 2020 and came into immediate effect.
The new legislation states that:
Marriage officers may no longer object to solemnising a civil union between persons of the same sex.
The minister of Home Affairs is required to ensure that there is a marriage officer available at every Department of Home Affairs office to solemnise a civil union.
Marriage officers can no longer refuse to solemnise a same-sex couple on the grounds that it is “contrary to their beliefs”.
The laws follow a few high-profile cases where the above occurred. According to constitutional law expert, Pierre de Vos, the change will bring an end to a “particularly egregious form of unfair discrimination”. The “separate but equal” marriage regime that continues to discriminate against same-sex couples remain in place though.
“Section 6 was controversial because it permitted state marriage officers to refuse to do their job if – for whatever reason – they did not want to solemnise same-sex marriages,” he said.
“To understand its full impact, imagine a similar provision allowing civil servants not to solemnise interracial marriages or marriages of people of a faith different to that of the civil servant,” he said.
An additional change that was gazetted, was to the Judicial Matters Amendment Act. This will provide additional protection to South Africans who married out of community of property in the country’s former homelands, i.e. Transkei.
The case that gave rise to this amendment follows a 2018 Constitutional Court judgement regarding a couple who were married without an antenuptial contract under the Transkei Marriage Act. In terms of the Transkei Marriage Act, this marriage was out of community of property. This was the default position by law in the former Transkei before 2000. Section 7(3) of the Divorce Act allows a court to order a just and equitable transfer of assets during divorce proceedings for marriages that was entered into before the commencement of certain rationalization laws.
The question presented to the Constitutional Court was whether section 7(3) was constitutionally invalid because of its failure to rationalize the position of women in the former Transkei. Consequently Section 7(3) of the Divorce Act was declared unconstitutional and ordered invalid because the court found that the discrimination experienced by the applicant and women in the former Transkei, was indefensible and that Parliament failed totally to rationalize the marriage laws.
The Act provides for the just and equitable redistribution of property on divorce in respect of anyone married out of community of property.
A SKULL TO REMEMBER
Once again, another unusual legacy! This time from John “Pop” Reed, who worked for many decades as a stagehand at the famous Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia.
“My head to be separated from my body immediately after my death; the latter to be buried in a grave; the former, duly macerated and prepared, to be brought to the theatre, where I have served all my life, and to be employed to represent the skull of Yorick – and to this end I bequeath my head to the properties.”
His wish was duly carried out and his skull became somewhat of a memento at the theatre where it was autographed by many visiting actors.
This was not as odd a request as it may seem. There has been many others with similar requests. Polish composer André Tchaíkowsky who died in 1982, willed his skull to the Royal Shakespeare Company. His skull was eventually used on stage by David Tennant during his acclaimed 2008 portrayal of Hamlet.
Until next time!
The “Let’s Talk EFBOE” Team