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Newsletter 76 (Mar 2023)
Newsletter 76 (Mar 2023)

Dear Colleague
 
In the words of Albert Camus: “Autumn is a second Spring when every leaf is a flower”. Autumn is the time to behold the beautiful shades of crimson and carmine, as the winds of change begin to blow. With the change and dying off of the leaves comes the promise that nature will arise again in her full splendour. Autumn also personifies hope as it reminds us of the ever-changing seasons and shows us just how beautiful it is to let things go. In our own lives, we can experience this hope in the promise of change or by being content with where we are in our journey right now.
 
HOPE….. Sometimes that’s all you have when you have nothing else.
If you have it, you have everything.”
 

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF and all that you are.
Know that there is something inside you that is greater
than ANY OBSTACLE thrown your way.”
Christian Larson
 

You are never too old to set another goal or
to dream a new dream.”
C.S. Lewis
 
“Every hour of every day is an unspeakably perfect miracle.”
Walt Whitman
 
FREEDOM DAY
Freedom Day will be celebrated on Thursday, 27 April 2023.
 
But what does this day really mean to us as South Africans?
 
Freedom Day does not only commemorate South Africa’s first democratic election, but also celebrates our right to exercise our own choices and individuality. This extends to allowing others to live the way they want to live, to look how they want to look and to be what they want to be.
 
We wish you a happy Freedom Day filled with celebrations around your own uniqueness as well as the uniqueness of those around you!
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DECEASED ESTATES AND THE LAWS GOVERNING THEM IN SOUTH AFRICA
 
Every person is born a unique individual with their own characteristics and complexities. Together with this uniqueness, we each have the freedom of choice. Thus, we can all choose what is most important to us, and decide what we regard as priorities in our lives.
 
Many people wish to accumulate possessions and wealth to be leave a legacy to the next generation in the hope that these would pave the way to a better life for their loved ones.
 
Thus, most people accumulate property, investments, savings, and other assets which legally belong to them. All of these assets form part of a person’s estate, in other words, it refers to everything they own, including any debts owed to others.
 
A deceased estate comes into existence when a person passes away.
 
A deceased estate must be reported to the Master of the High Court within 14 days of the date of death. The estate must then be administered and distributed in terms of the deceased’s Will once Letters of Executorship has been issued to the nominated executor and in accordance with the Administration of Estates Act. If there is no Will, or the Will is invalid, the deceased estate will be administered in terms of the Intestate Succession Act.
 
If a person passes away without leaving a valid Will, only beneficiaries named in the Intestate Succession Act will inherit. Family members who would not necessarily have been included in the beneficiary list, may inherit from the deceased estate. However, when leaving a Will, special bequests can be made and beneficiaries of choice can be named. Remember that a Will should be updated from time to time as circumstances change. If this is not done, an ex-spouse or parents who have been named, may inherit to the detriment of a new spouse, children, etc.
 
The laws governing deceased estates in South Africa
There are three sets of laws which relate to deceased estates and inheritance in South Africa. We have already referred to two of these laws above. The laws governing deceased estates are: 
  1. The Administration of Estates Act, No 66 of 1965 (as amended): This Act governs the administration of deceased estates which includes the disposal of assets, i.e. closing of bank accounts, paying off of debts, sale and transfer of assets, etc.
  2. The Wills Act, No 7 of 1953: This Act contains the legal requirements relating to the drafting and the signing of Wills, and governs the legality of terms and stipulations in Wills. A valid Will forms the basis on which a deceased estate will be administered.
  3. The Intestate Succession Act, No 81 of 1987: This Act governs the distribution of a deceased estate where the deceased did not have a valid Will, or no Will at all, at the time of death.
Tax implications for deceased estates
Heirs in a South African estate do not pay tax on their inheritance.
 
Heirs similarly do not pay capital gains tax (CGT). CGT is a tax levied on any profit made on the sale of an asset, if the asset is subject to CGT. CGT is not payable by those who receive an inheritance, but rather by the estate.
 
Where the net value of an estate exceeds R3.5 million, estate duty is payable by the estate before distribution. No estate duty is payable between spouses, irrespective of the value of the estate. Any estate dutiable benefit payable to a nominated beneficiary outside of the estate, e.g. proceeds of a life policy, is payable by the beneficiary. Estate duty was discussed in detail in our newsletter 66 of April 2022.
 
Provision for these costs can be made through various insurance products to, for example, cover the estate duty.
 
How to report a deceased estate
If the deceased had a valid Will with EFBOE, the estate must be reported as soon as possible to your EFBOE consultant. The necessary estate documents will then be e-mailed to you for completion by the next of kin. Estate documents are also available on our website  https://www.efboe.co.za/deceased-estates-efboe. The estate can furthermore be reported via our contact page or by sending an e-mail to info@efboe.co.za.
 
Should the deceased estate have an invalid Will, or no Will at all (an intestate estate), or be an estate with a nominated executor who may not have the experience or know-how to administer the estate, it can be reported to EFBOE for consideration to administer the estate as an agent.
 
The estate will be reported to the Master of the High Court upon receipt of all of the required estate forms and other documentation. On receipt of the Letters of Executorship from the Master’s Office, the administration of the estate can begin.
 
EFBOE proudly adheres to the Fiduciary Institute of Southern Africa’s mission and operating philosophy, thereby upholding the integrity and honour of our profession. Our personnel are dedicated to providing excellent service and will always do their utmost to administer deceased estates as smoothly and as efficiently as possible. Our goal is to finalise a deceased estate as soon as possible.
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TAKING A VEHICLE TO THE GRAVE
 
Most people wish to bequeath the things they cherish in life to those they love, for them to enjoy after the deceased’s passing. Some people, however, are fixated on their earthly possessions. One of those cherished possessions is often a vehicle. Here are a few examples of people who took their favourite wheels to their graves:
 
  • Rose Martin from Tiverton in the United Kingdom: She passed away in 1998, at the age of 84, and was buried in her 1962 Chevrolet Corvair. The vehicle had to be modified so that her coffin could fit inside. Four burial plots were needed to house this unusual coffin. 
  • George Swanson from Pennsylvania: George passed away on 25 May 1994, aged 71. His white 1984 Corvette was buried with his ashes in the driver’s seat. 
  • Sandra Ilene West from Beverly Hills: Sandra, aged 38, was buried in 1977 in her blue 1964 Ferrari 250GT. Her body was placed in the front seat, dressed in a lacy nightgown. The vehicle with its unusual cargo was placed in a huge box. After being placed in the ground, the box was covered with concrete. Sandra’s grave is next to that of her late husband, Ike West, who was a Texas oil millionaire. 
  • Billy Standley from Ohio: In 2014, Billy passed away at the age of 82. His body was embalmed and placed atop his 1967 Harley Davidson motorcycle. Both Billly and the motorcycle were encased in a giant plexiglass casket. An extra-large burial site was required to accommodate this unusual coffin.
It is truly amazing what can be taken to the grave. Unfortunately, that is where it will stay, unless the grave robbers can lay their hands on it first!
 
Until next time!
The Let’s Talk EFBOE Team
 

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