Estate planning is planning for your estate while you are alive and well, if you become incapacitated, and after your death. It involves the management of your assets while you are still alive and the distribution of those assets after you die. This planning allows for the orderly administration and disbursement of your estate, and includes taking actions that will minimize taxes and distribute assets to the appropriate heirs.
Your estate consist of all your property, which includes your house and other real estate; tangible personal property; and intangible property, like insurance, bank accounts, stocks and bonds, pensions, etc.
Estate planning has been defined as the process of creating and managing a programme that is designed to:
- 01Preserve, increase and protect an estate planner’s assets during his lifetime;
- 02Ensure the most effective and beneficial distribution thereof to succeeding generations on his death, and in accordance with his wishes.
A common misconception about estate planning is that it revolves solely around life assurance policies. This is incorrect as, although life policies are often taken into account, comprehensive planning involves the structuring of wills, trusts and donations. Issues such as marital contracts, Capital Gains Tax and income tax all need to be taken into account.
A few hours of professional planning can often reduce your future estate duty burden by hundreds of thousands of Rands. Speak to one of our attorneys today.