Delgado & Associates Inc is a leading service provider in estate and succession planning. A Last Will and Testament is a crucial document and must be correctly drafted to ensure that an individual’s wishes and intentions are properly recorded and executed.

Unfortunately, too many people do not obtain the correct advice or have Wills that are poorly drafted and in many cases invalid. This is the result of a DIY job or using the internet or unqualified assistance and but not limited to being au fait with the legal requirements for a valid will under South African Law.

In some cases there may be offshore assets and the local Will creates impediments, triggers unnecessary costs or taxes and avoidable hardships. In a number of instances unqualified persons draft the individual’s Will resulting in an invalid Will or not correctly recording the individual’s wishes.

Another major area of concern that we have noted is individuals not properly addressing the issue of minor children. A minor child is a person under the age of 18. Under South African law a minor cannot directly inherit and this can result in assets having to be sold and the cash administered by the Guardians Fund a division of the Justice Department. Assets may be held by a third party for the child but may be squandered. The area of guardianship is crucial for the security and wellbeing of how the children are to be raised and cared for.

In order to ensure that a number of key issues are properly dealt with it is imperative that a planner ensure that the following issues are addressed, namely:

  1. Ensure that estate freezing is avoided or that estate freezing will not cause hardship for their family.
  2. How are currents expenses are dealt with and from which accounts, e.g debit orders that may be unpaid as the bank account is frozen.
  3. Any minor children are appropriately dealt with, e.g assets in a testamentary trust and guardianship.
  4. List specific assets that are to be bequeathed to intended beneficiaries.
  5. How the remainder of the assets are to be distributed and to whom.
  6. Are specific assets only to be used by certain beneficiaries or heirs for a period but the ownership is for a different person.
  7. Ensure that capital gains taxes are eliminated or minimised. The maximum rate is currently 18% but through proper planning this can be minimised or even eliminated.
  8. Nominate an executor that knows the family and the estate and attend to an agreed fee or percentage to wind up the estate. The maximum legislated rate is 3.5% plus VAT (if the executor is a VAT vendor) and 6% on any income that accrues to the deceased estate.
  9. Attend to minimise or avoid estate duty. Currently estates under R3.5 million qualify for the abatement and are duty free. Any net estate in excess of R3.5 million but under R30 million will trigger duty at a rate of 20% and any net estate in excess of R 30 million will be subject to tax at 25%.

Delgado & Associates Inc is perfectly positioned to assist you in attending to execute a valid Last Will and Testament that correctly contains your wishes and intentions pertaining to your assets and intended beneficiaries and heirs.