Blog


2017-04-27
The importance of estate planning


WHERE THERE IS A WILL, THERE IS A TRUST, IT’S THE BEST WAY…

“Everything begins with the resolve to take the first step, from that action, wisdom arises and change begins. Without action, nothing happens.” Daisaku Ikeda

Today we want to highlight the importance of estate planning to you. In a nutshell…

What is estate planning?

An estate is made up of assets and liabilities that you accumulate during your lifetime, and which you have at the time of your death.

Estate Planning is the process of creating and managing your affairs in order to preserve, increase and protect your assets during your lifetime. It ensures the most effective and beneficial distribution of your assets to your beneficiaries according to your wishes.

 

What you need to take care of the basics:

Will and Trust

Wills and Trusts are legal documents that give instructions about the distribution of your estate upon your death and the people who will carry out that distribution. These documents, which are written by a qualified Attorney, THAT’S US MKHIZE MIYA INC, are one way to ensure a proper distribution of your estate.

We can help ensure that your estate plan is complete, accurate and legally enforceable. We can also ensure that your beneficiary designations on assets that pass outside of your Will or Trust coordinate with your overall estate plan, e.g. your pension fund or life insurance policy.

What benefit will it bring to your life and what you seek to achieve?

  • To protect your assets
  • To achieve efficient deceased estate administration
  • To appoint heirs and legatees of your choice
  • To distribute assets according to your wishes
  • To insure that there are sufficient funds in your estate to settle liabilities and pay taxes
  • To provide for your dependants and to protect your minor children
  • To minimise the impact of taxation on the estate such as estate duty, income tax, capital gains tax, vat and transfer duty
  • To provide for future growth of your assets, e.g. assets held in a Trust; and
  • To provide for your own set of unique circumstances, i.e. divorced or remarried; amongst others.

Income tax tips on Trusts:

  • Trustees may create tax efficiencies based on the timing and amounts of distributions made to beneficiaries.
  • Where income received by the Trust is paid out to the beneficiaries within the same tax year, it is treated, for tax purposes, as if it had never been received by the Trust, but rather directly by the beneficiaries. Therefore, it is advisable for distributions to be made to the beneficiaries in the same year as income is received.
  • The Trust acts as a conduit through which income flows. Income flowing through a Trust to beneficiaries retains its identity. Therefore, interest received by the Trust is also treated as interest received by the beneficiary and is thus taxed in the beneficiary’s hands.
  • Where income is taxed in the hands of the Trust, any subsequent distribution thereof will not again attract tax in the hands of the beneficiary.

Trusts offer various benefits to you in that they can serve a dual function of protecting assets as well as creating certain taxation benefits.

Passing away without a Will:

When you die without leaving a Will, you are said to have died intestate. When this happens, your property is distributed according to the law of South Africa governing intestate succession. In this way, it is highly probable that your property will not be distributed as you would have wanted. This same situation may occur with a Will that has not been drafted by an Attorney. If you have minor children, their money will be held in the Guardian’s Fund until they are major.

Note: If you plan to get married any time soon or later, it is advisable to enter into an Antenuptial contract with your spouse in order to protect your assets.

What to do next?

Call us at Mkhize Miya Inc, we will be more than happy to assist you.

 

Let’s take that first step together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Disclaimer: The information contained herein is a summary of some of the key estate planning objectives for information purposes only, it should by no means be construed as legal advice.