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Ssssshhh … let’s not talk about it

Posted By Marilynh / September 17, 2010 / 0 Comments



We can talk about the birds and the bees with our grandchildren and about the state of the economy with our children, but find it hard to discuss estate planning with our spouses.

Not discussing something that is going to happen will not stop it from happening. At some point someone is going to have to sort out your estate – regardless of how big or small it is.

Here is what you have to consider …

At different stages of our lives we ask people for advice on saving for our children’s education, purchasing a second home, starting a new business, and deciding when and how to retire.

But when it comes to deciding what happens to whatever is left of our money when we die, silence falls like a cloak of secrecy.

Estate planning is the backbone of a good financial plan. It helps you create wealth during your lifetime and ensures that your plan continues to be useful and beneficial to your loved ones once you have passed away.

Estate planning is also more than just writing a will. It is about organising your assets in a way that avoids family fights and prevents the majority of your estate from going to the government.

Sound complex? It need not be.

The heart of estate planning lies within your will. A clearly worded and legally enforceable will prepared by professionals should reflect your needs and wishes. Without a will your assets will be distributed according to a set formula, known as intestate succession, which may be far removed from your intentions.

Other elements of estate planning include a living will and various forms of trusts.

A comprehensive estate plan should address issues such as:

  • The practical and equitable distribution of your estate. You might want to leave specific assets to some of your children and other assets of equivalent value to your other children.
  • The protection and management of beneficiaries’ inheritance to ensure that assets are not squandered or misappropriated.
  • Sufficient protection against possible insolvency.
  • Succession planning, if applicable, to ensure that your business continues to run smoothly.
  • Calculating costs that become payable on death, for example executor’s fees, capital gains tax and estate duty.
  • Establishing whether there is sufficient capital available at death to offset debts.
  • Considering structures to minimise estate duty, income tax and capital gains tax.
  • Allowing for a smooth and effective estate administration process to reduce the concerns of your loved ones.

For more information on estate planning and the drafting or updating of your will speak to a financial planner at your nearest Nedbank branch or call 0861 @FUTURE (0861 238 8873) or send an email to financialplanning@nedbank.co.za.

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