The fundamentals of Estate and Legacy Planning
Updated: Oct 15, 2019
Article by: Hardi Swart CFP®
There is a misconception that estate planning is only for wealthy individuals. Estate planning should form part of a comprehensive financial plan as most estate planning principles can be applied to any portfolio.
Estate planning is the procedure of planning for and managing the disposal of a persons’ estate while the person is still alive. This is an on-going process as circumstances constantly change.
Minimalize taxes and costs
The primary focus is to minimalize tax payable and costs related to winding up an estate, such as: donations tax, estate duty, transfer tax, income tax, capital gains tax, funeral costs, executors’ fees and VAT.
Estate liquidity is of utmost importance to ensure there is enough cash or liquid funds to settle the above-mentioned expenses. Investments or life policies can be considered to pay the estate related expenses.
We recently had a scenario where we were able to save a client more than R2 million in estate related costs just because we applied sound estate planning principles to the client’s portfolio.
The intricacy of estate planning is determined by the specific objectives of the client which can make the process simple or highly technical. For example, guardians must be appointed for minor children should both the parents pass away. It is of ad most importance to stipulate who will manage the financial affairs of the children and by when they will have access to their capital. There are lots of examples where Trust funds were mismanaged to the detriment of the children of the deceased. This can easily be avoided through proper planning.
The art of legacy planning is a comprehensive planning approach that is achievable by creating a multi-generational plan for managing your total portfolio while you are still alive. This is especially important for family-business owners. Part of this process is facilitating discussion with the whole family and then creating a clear plan. We can assist you with the process of transferring your legacy to the next generation.
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