- TAKING CARE OF YOUR FUTURE -
Your current personal and financial position is reviewed, taking
into account your objectives for the future. A strategic plan is
then agreed upon and implemented.
The followings aspects must be covered in the estate plan:
- - The Last Will and Testament - it is important to structure
the Will in such a manner that it would secure a practical and
equitable distribution of the estate, whilst at the same time
affording beneficiaries adequate protection and minimising death
- Trust formation - to serve as a holding vehicle, which could
preserve and protect the underlying assets for the dependants of
the founder, and their descendants.
- Asset restructuring - converting a close corporation membership
to a shareholding in a company. This could also include:
- Separating trading assets from conventional investments
- Incorporating a professional partnership
- Loan redemption plan
- Buy and Sell Agreement - protecting partners in the event of
death or disability of one partner.
- Assurance - identifying the need for income and capital for
events such as disability, retirement, funding the acquisition of a
business interest (partnership assurance) and for the maintenance
of your dependants in the event of your death.
- Succession - who takes over your sole proprietory, and on what
- Taxation - what are the donations tax, income tax (including
Capital Gains Tax) and Estate Duty implications?
- Offshore structures - for immigrants, emigrants and SA
- Property - to purchase in the individual's name, a trust or a
- Asset management - which adjustments would meet future
- Share option schemes - cede, exercise or defer?
- Employer/Employee benefits - how best to structure (e.g.
Pension / Provident / Group / Life)
Inter vivos (Family) Trusts
It is important to ensure that the following documents and
papers are kept up to date:
- Letters of intent - a letter of the wishes of the founder of
the trust can serve as useful guidelines for the trustees when they
exercise their discretionary powers.
- Minutes - of all decisions taken by the trustees during a
- Loan account reconciliation - the balance of any loan owing to
the founder or funder constitutes an asset in his/her estate.
- Acknowledgement of debt - recording the terms of any loan to
- Sale agreement)s) - specifying the assets sold to the trust and
the purchase consideration.
- Deed of Trust - is it still flexible enough and can amendments
be made in keeping with changing requirements and legislation?
- Annual Financial Statements and Tax - copies of the most recent
statements and tax returns.
The use of trusts in South Africa is continuously under the
scrutiny of our tax authorities. Regular reviews of the trust are
We do not promote the use of trusts as trading vehicles for
business purposes per se and we also do not encourage their use as
a means to save income tax.
With the gradual relaxation of exchange control regulations
South African residents may invest offshore, subject to certain
requirements being met.
The formalities of different foreign jurisdictions vary
dramatically and careful consideration must be given to the
different estate planning options.
- Joint accounts - in certain jurisdictions two or more people
may hold accounts as joint tenants which ensure that, upon the
death of one of them, the account simply continues in the name of
the survivor - there is no need for any probate formalities.
- Separate Wills - to govern the administration of the offshore
and onshore estates respectively.
- Offshore discretionary trusts - South African residents with
offshore assets are still subject to the same South African
taxation in respect of such assets, namely donations tax, estate
duty and income tax (including capital gains tax).