Newsletter 59 (Aug 2021)
With the arrival of spring there is excitement in the air. A sense of new life springing forth, growth taking place and a renewed expectation for new opportunities to present themselves. Winter is something of the past again and spring is the time for new plans and projects.
This is also a good time for an update on EFBOE’s competition. There are only two months left for our dedicated and deserving advisors to compete for this year’s two cash prizes! The competition ends on 31 October 2021. This is the last update on the front-runners in the competition:
In no specific order: Lanie van Wyk, Arend de Waal, Paul Louw and Anton Redelinghuys
Good luck to you all! Keep those new Wills coming and keep an eye out for power of attorney estates.
September 2021 is Heritage Month. On 24th
September, Heritage Day will be celebrated in real South African style. It is a day on which everyone can celebrate their culture, and a day on which we all embrace our diversity of beliefs and traditions in the wider context of a nation that belongs to all of its people. Enjoy this day on which we all can reflect on the things that are important to us. Have a joyful celebration.
And remember, keep calm and braai!
CAN A TRUST BE HELPFUL IN CASE OF DEMENTIA?
Read more about this in our next edition
FIVE REASONS WHY A PARENT SHOULD MAKE A WILL
Some parents are more conscious of their mortality and follow the route of planning properly for the event of dying and providing for the loved ones left behind. However, for most people, life is a constant race, and as parents, their plates are already full. Death is the last thing on their minds while still young and busy building a future, a life together. The thought of death and Wills are sometimes left on the backseat while attention is given to more immediate concerns. For parents, making a Will is still the single-most important thing they can do to ensure that their child/children and immediate family are cared for after they pass away.
If parents have a child/children, they need a Will. If a parent dies and their child/children do not have another capable parent to take care of them, a family member or friend would need to apply to the court to be appointed as the child’s/children’s guardian. This is an enormous emotional and financial burden to place on surviving family and friends, not to mention the minor child/children. Maybe some parents want to leave nothing to some children. This must also be made clear in a Will.
The five main reasons why a parent should make a Will are:
1. Guardians for minor children
People have their own perceptions of life and feel different about things like discipline, religion, medical care, education, etc. Parents should give thought as to whom they want to raise their children should they pass away. Someone they trust who will continue to instill the same values that are important to them. Obvious choices are not always the best choices. Grandparents are an option, but children are exhausting, even for younger people. There may be other family members, but do they live nearby so as not to disrupt the children’s lives further after such a tragic event? This is a serious matter that deserves serious consideration. Parents must think about this and choose suitable guardians for their minor children in case they pass away. This is a major concern that must be addressed in a Will.
2. Partner protection
If partners are not married, the surviving partner is not automatically entitled to any of the deceased partner’s estate when he/she dies. Will the surviving partner be able to pay rent, or make bond or car payments? When one income is no longer there, will they be able to afford childcare or school fees or any other standard expenses? Even if they are married, the spouse will still not necessarily get everything. Therefore, it is important to draft a Will in which they specify exactly what their wishes are. Leaving the whole estate to a spouse is an enormous saving in taxes as this legacy does not attract estate duty.
3. Child protection
Maybe a person does not want their partner to inherit their whole estate. Almost everyone wants to believe that their partner will mourn them forever, never loving another again, but there is a good chance that a partner will find someone else and make the new partner their heir. In such an instance, someone might prefer to leave a portion of their estate to their children, a nest egg that the second spouse will not be able to touch. Even their deceased’s parents may need care as they grow old and, without a Will, the parents do not have a claim to the estate unless they are unmarried with no children. Special provision can be made for parents via a testamentary trust as well, when there is a Will in place.
4. Nominate an executor
It is important to nominate someone who will assume responsibility for the distribution of the estate’s wealth after death, to ensure that everything goes according to the plans as set out by the testator. A Will enables a parent to nominate a trusted company, like EFBOE, to oversee and execute the conditions of the Will. If no executor was nominated in a Will, the Master of the High Court will appoint an executor, and without a Will, the estate will be administered according to the Intestate Succession Act 81 of 1987 as amended, which can have dire consequences for the family unit left behind. Intestate administration was discussed in detail in Newsletter 23 of May 2018, which can be viewed on our website, www.efboe.co.za
, under Blog → Historic Newsletters.
5. Family disputes
The court rolls are full of cases of family disputes regarding inheritances. By making a Will, this can be prevented. Wishes can be made clear and be fair at the same time, and not leave a legacy of bitter fights between relatives. Maybe there is a family heirloom that should be left to one of their siblings, rather than the spouse. Or the deceased wants to make provision for stepchildren to also benefit from the estate together with the deceased’s biological children. Whatever the scenario, it can be addressed if there is a Will where their wishes are clearly and properly recorded.
Remember that it is never too early to make a Will. For a parent it is not an option to think “there is still plenty of time to make a Will”. The consequences of dying intestate (without a Will) can be devastating for those left behind. People pass away every day, young and old. The wisest decision is to prepare for such an event to make things easier for the loved ones left behind. Thus, parents should make a Will as soon as possible. It should not be put off until later because later can just be too late. A Will gives a person the freedom to choose how their assets must be distributed between their loved ones. It is the one thing that they can control when they pass away.
JEREMY BENTHAM – DONATING HIS CORPSE TO MEDICAL SCIENCE
Today it is common for people to donate their bodies for medical research purposes. In 1769 though, it was a very unusual request as, at that time, the dissection of a body was an after-death criminal punishment. At the age of 21, Jeremy Bentham was already considering how his corpse could have a purpose after his Death.
Bentham was a lawyer, but pure law frustrated his intellect and he evolved into quite the thinker and philosopher, becoming a man that was ahead of his time in so many ways. His legacy, which seemed outrageous at the time, included utilitarianism, the promotion of individual rights, freedom and even animal rights, the segregation of the church from political influence, the abolition of slavery and the death penalty, the acceptance of homosexuality and the criticism of corporal punishment on children.
Bentham requested that his body be left to medical science. A week before he died in 1832, well into his eighties, he drafted his Will. In his Will, he said: “Preserve my body with the utmost of your skill. And put me in the library, that folks may see me still, a hundred years from now”.
After the dissection of his body, his head was re-attached to his skeleton, his body stuffed with hay, dressed up and placed in a glass cabinet for all to see him as his Will had requested. On several occasions the cabinet was rolled out to various meetings hosted by his known friends. He sat at one end of the table and the minutes recorded: “Jeremiah Bentham, present but not voting”.
Until next time!
The Let’s Talk EFBOE Team