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Month: August 2015

WAAROM MOET EK ‘N TESTAMENT OPSTEL?

WAAROM MOET EK ‘N TESTAMENT OPSTEL?

A3bSoos die bekende gesegde deur Benjamin Franklin lui, “in hierdie wêreld kan niks met sekerheid gesê word nie, behalwe die dood en belasting.”

Niemand wil daaraan dink dat ons op een of ander stadium ‘n geliefde aan die dood sal afstaan nie, veral nie as ons nog jonk en gesond is nie.  Ongelukkig is dit ‘n realiteit wat ons op een of ander stadium in die gesig sal moet staar.  Wanneer dit wel gebeur is die laaste ding waaroor jou geliefdes bekommerd moet wees, die bereddering van jou boedel.

Kom ons kyk na Anton se omstandighede.  Hy is ‘n fikse en gesonde 32 jarige man, getroud met twee minderjarige kinders.  Hy besit ‘n huis met ‘n uitstaande verband, die meubels in die woning, ‘n motorvoertuig en ‘n spaarrekening.  Hy is onder die indruk dat hy nie nodig het om ‘n testament op te stel nie, hy is nog jonk en gaan nie ‘n reuse boedel nalaat nie, boonop sal sy vrou mos sy bates erf wanneer hy sterf…nie waar nie?

Sou Anton sterf sonder om ‘n geldige testament na te laat, sal sy boedel in terme van die Wet op Intestate Erfopvolging 81 van 1987 verdeel word.  Wat dit vir Anton se gesin beteken (soos in die scenario hierbo), sal sy vrou in terme van die Intestate Erfreg R250 000 of ‘n kindsdeel, watter bedrag ook al die grootste is, van sy boedel erf en sy kinders elk ‘n kindsdeel.  ‘n Kindsdeel word bereken deur die waarde van die boedel te verdeel deur die aantal kinders en nagelate gades.  Veronderstel die waarde van Anton se boedel beloop R1 200 000 sal ‘n kindsdeel R1 200 000 ÷ 3 (sy twee kinders en sy vrou) = R400 000 wees.  Sy vrou en elk van sy twee kinders sal dus R400 000 erf.   Die kindsdeel is dan groter as die minimum van R 250 000 voorgeskryf deur die wet. Maar sou die waarde van Anton se boedel R300 000 beloop, sal sy vrou R250 000 erf en sy twee kinders R25 000.00 elk.

Ten spyte van die feit dat hierdie omstandighede glad nie Anton se wense weerspieël nie, bestaan die moontlikheid dat die Eksekuteur van sy boedel die gesinswoning sal moet verkoop om die uitstaande verband af te los.  (Let asseblief dat dit nie altyd die geval is nie, maar wel ‘n moontlikheid afhangende van die omstandighede.)

Dit is uiters belangrik om ‘n deskundige te raadpleeg vir hulp en bystand met die opstel van ‘n testament.  Soos wat jou lewensomstandighede verander, moet jou testament ook gereeld opgedateer word om aan jou veranderende behoeftes of wense uitvoering te gee.

Eerstens stel ‘n testament jou in staat om jou wense duidelik uit te spreek.  Anton sal dus kon bepaal dat sy vrou sy hele boedel moet erf, wat haar in staat kon stel om moontlik met die kontant in sy spaarrekening ‘n gedeelte van die verband oor hulle woning af te los.  Dit kan dus letterlik die verskil beteken of sy hulle gesinswoning kan behou of nie.  Dit is belangrik om seker te maak dat geen onduidelikheid oor jou wense bestaan nie.  Jy sal nie meer hier wees om jou ware bedoeling uit te spreek nie.

Anton mag dalk oor ‘n paar jaar anders voel en sy kinders wil insluit by sy testament.  Hy kan dan ‘n Testamentêre Trust in sy Testament stig ten bate van sy minderjarige kinders.  Die Testament kan onder andere aandui wie as Trustees van die Testamentêre Trust aangestel moet word om die trustbates namens sy minderjarige kinders te behartig, asook die ouderdom waarop die erfporsie aan hulle uitbetaal moet word.

Verder sal ‘n deskundige hom adviseer oor die kostes verbonde aan die bereddering van ‘n boedel en die belangrikheid om voorsiening te maak dat voldoende kontant in die boedel betaal sal word om enige skuld af te los, asook kostes wat deur die loop van die boedelproses betaalbaar is.  Sodoende sal ‘n nagelate gade nie gedwing word om bates te verkoop om skuld te vereffen nie.

Anton sal ook in staat wees om ‘n Eksekuteur aan te wys in sy Testament wie sal toesien tot die administrasie van sy boedel.  Aangesien die boedelproses ‘n gespesialiseerde taak is, is dit wenslik om ‘n deskundige aan te stel.  ‘n Nagelate gade kan egter ook aangewys word as Eksekuteur van ‘n boedel, wie dan weer ‘n deskundige kan raadpleeg vir bystand.

Die afsterwe van ‘n geliefde is ‘n pynlike ervaring, dit is dus belangrik om alles in jou vermoë te doen om die bereddering van jou boedel so sorgvry moontlik vir jou geliefdes te maak.

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies.

VOOR- EN NADELE VAN TRUSTS

VOOR- EN NADELE VAN TRUSTS

A2BTrusts hou verskeie voordele, maar ongelukkig ook nadele in.

Alhoewel hierdie waarskynlik nie ‘n samevatting van alle voordele en nadele is nie, deel ons graag ons ondervinding van die vernaamste voor- en nadele by die oorweging van ‘n Trust met u.

Voordele:

  • Groei wat in die trustbates plaasvind, vestig in die Trust en nie in u persoonlike boedel nie.
  • Deur die bates aan die Trust te verkoop, sal die bedrag wat deur die Trust aan u verskuldig is, uitstaande op die leningsrekening bly en sal dit as ‘n bate in u boedel beskou word. Hierdie bedrag kan egter vir boedelbelastingdoeleindes verminder word deur die jaarlikse skenkingsbelastingvrystelling van R100 000 te benut.
  • ‘n Trust bied beskerming teen probleme indien u verstandelik onbevoeg raak. Dit kan dit ook onnodig maak om ‘n kurator aan te stel om u finansiële sake te hanteer.
  • ‘n Trust bly vertroulik, anders as dokumente soos testamente en rekords van bestorwe boedels wat openbare dokumente is en oop is aan die publiek ter insae.
  • ‘n Trust kan finansiële beskerming aan gestremde afhanklikes, spandabelrige kinders of begunstigdes met spesiale behoeftes bied.
  • ‘n Trust kan die koste van die administrasie van opeenvolgende boedels omseil deur voorsiening vir opeenvolgende begunstigdes te maak.
  • ‘n Trust kan die emosionele stres op u gesin verminder wanneer u sterf, aangesien die Trust sal voortgaan sonder enige van die formaliteite wat by ‘n bestorwe boedel vereis word.
  • Deur u Trustees verstandig te kies, kan u professionele bate- en beleggingsbestuur verseker.
  • Die Trust sal u in staat stel om, via die Trustees, na u dood ‘n mate van beheer oor die bates in die Trust te behou.
  • Na u dood en voordat u boedel afgehandel is, kan die Trust ‘n bron van inkomste aan u afhanklike(s) voorsien.
  • U sal verhoed dat u minderjarige kind se erfenis in die Voogdyfonds geplaas word.
  • U sal die probleme vermy om bates te moet verdeel ten einde ‘n gelyke uitkering aan die erfgename te doen.
  • Trustinkomste kan na die stigter se dood onder die begunstigdes met laer belastingkategorieë verdeel word wanneer individuele vrystellings aangewend kan word, maar alle belasbare inkomste wat in die Trust behou word, sal sonder enige vrystellingsvoordele teen 40% belas word.
  • Inkomstevlakke kan na goeddunke van die Trustees saam met die veranderende behoeftes van die begunstigdes gevarieer word.
  • Omdat die bates die eiendom van die Trust bly, en nie van die begunstigdes nie, hoef hulle ook nie die bates as deel van hulle boedels in te reken wanneer hulle sterf nie, wat ‘n besparing in boedelbelasting tot gevolg het.
  • Die trustbates sal om dieselfde rede teen krediteure beskerm wees.

Nadele:

  • U het nie meer algehele beheer oor u bates nie, aangesien die ander Trustees ook ‘n sê sal hê.
  • ‘n Trust word geregistreer en die owerhede kan toegang daartoe verkry.
  • U kan moontlik die verkeerde Trustees kies. Daar kan probleme ontstaan indien hulle wedywerende erfgename is. Dit is hoekom dit so belangrik is dat u minstens een onafhanklike Trustee moet hê.

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies.

DIE BENOEMING VAN ‘N EKSEKUTEUR IN MY TESTAMENT

DIE BENOEMING VAN ‘N EKSEKUTEUR IN MY TESTAMENT

A1Hierdie is ‘n onderwerp waaroor al hoe meer besprekings en argumente plaasvind en dit is ook so dat individue meer ingelig raak oor wat die fooie is waarop die Eksekuteur van ‘n boedel geregtig is en hoe die fooie bereken word.

Soos ons in vorige atikels melding gemaak het, word die maksimum vergoeding waarop ‘n Eksekuteur geregtig is deur wetgewing vasgestel. Die huidige Eksekuteursvergoeding waarop ‘n Eksekuteur geregtig is, beloop tans 3.5% van die bruto boedelwaarde plus 14% BTW (indien die Eksekuteur natuurlik vir BTW geregistreer is).

Op die oog af blyk dit dat die vergoeding teen ‘n billike of selfs baie lae persentasie gehef word, maar kom ons illustreer dit met ‘n voorbeeld:

Kom ons veronderstel die bruto boedelwaarde beloop R2 miljoen. Neem kennis dat weens die drastiese stygings in die waarde van onroerende eiendomme oor die laaste paar jare, ‘n boedel met ‘n bruto waarde van R2 miljoen maklik haalbaar en baie realisties is indien u onroerende eiendom besit.

R2 miljoen x 3.5% = R70 000-00

Plus 14% BTW = R9 800-00

Totale Eksekuteursvergoeding = R79 800-00

Laasgenoemde Eksekuteursvergoeding sluit nie enige ander administrasiekostes bv. oordragkostes van die onroerende eiendom of begrafniskostes in nie. Dit is dus duidelik dat kostes om die administrasie van ‘n boedel met ‘n waarde van R2 miljoen af te handel maklik meer as R100 000 kan beloop. Die gevolg is dat individue al hoe meer oorweging daaraan gee om die langslewende of ‘n ander familielid as Eksekuteur te benoem, met die veronderstelling dat die genomineerde Eksekuteur dan in ‘n posisie geplaas word om die Eksekuteursvergoeding met ‘n instelling te onderhandel, wat dan as die genomineerde Eksekuteur se agent sal optree.

Dit gebeur egter dat die genomineerde Eksekuteur (bv. die langslewende gade) nie deeglik ingelig word oor wat hy/sy te doen staan indien sy/haar gade te sterwe sou kom nie en gevolglik stel hy/sy die eerste agent aan wat sy/haar dienste aanbied, geen onderhandeling vind plaas nie en die agent hef dus maar nog steeds die volle tarief wat deur wetgewing vasgestel word.

Ons aanbeveling is dus die volgende:

  1. Benoem die langslewende of ‘n ander familielid as Eksekuteur van jou boedel, maar maak seker dat die benoemde Eksekuteur deeglik kennis dra dat hy/sy die Eksekuteursvergoeding met ‘n instelling kan onderhandel; of
  2. Indien jy voldoende vertroue in ‘n instelling het, benoem die instelling as Eksekuteur van jou boedel, maar onderhandel die Eksekuteursvergoeding voortydig en maak die ooreengekome tarief in die testament vas. Moet dit dus nie aan iemand anders oorlaat om na jou afsterwe oor Eksekuteursfoooie te onderhandel nie.

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies.

MHI HOU WINTERETE

MHI HOU WINTERETE

 

Die winter is hier en ons het ons jaarlikse Winterete hierdie jaar by Schoongezicht Restaurant in Brackenfell gehou. Die tema was Mad Hatter. Elkeen het met hulle mooiste hoed opgedaag.

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Agter is Catherine, Jurgens, Vikki, Riëtte, Zelda en voor is Elizna, Vicki en Noleen.
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Sharing a joke is Michelle Z, Stefanus, Chris, Liaan, Jurgens and Estelle.
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Stefanus se afdeling nl, Michelle T, Stefanus, Reinett, Marcelle met Jessica voor.
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Stefanus se afdeling nl, Michelle T, Stefanus, Reinett, Marcelle met Jessica voor.
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Chris en sy meisies, Ansie en Kestrel.

On 7 August it was National Slipper Day. Tickets were sold in aid of Reach for a Dream. The MHI team took part and everyone wore their slippers to work. Even the directors! We were further treated with hot chocolate and marshmellows for tea time!

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Thank you very much MHI for making us proud to be part of the TEAM!
WHY SHOULD I DRAFT A WILL

WHY SHOULD I DRAFT A WILL

A3bAs per the famous quote by Benjamin Franklin, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

Nobody wants to think about losing a loved one, especially when we are young and healthy.  Unfortunately, it is a reality that we have to face at some stage.  When this happens, the last thing your loved ones should be concerned about, is the administration of your estate.

Let’s look at Anton’s circumstances.  He is a fit and healthy 32 year old man, married with two young children.  He owns a house with an outstanding mortgage, the furniture in the house, a car and a savings account.  He is under the impression that he does not need to have a Will as he is still young and will not leave a huge estate behind, and in any event, should he pass away, his wife will inherit all his assets…right?

Should Anton pass away without leaving a valid Will, his estate will be divided in terms of the Intestate Succession Act 81 of 1987.  What this means for Anton’s family (as in the scenario above), in terms of the Intestate Succession his wife will inherit R250 000 or a child’s share of his estate, whichever amount is the greater, and his children will each inherit a child’s share. A child’s share is calculated by dividing the value of the estate by the number of children and surviving spouses.  Suppose the value of Anton’s estate amounted to R1 200 000, a child’s share will then be calculated as R1 200 000 ÷ 3 (his two children and his wife) = R400 000.  His wife and each of his two children will inherit R400 000. The child’s share is then greater than the minimum of R 250 000 stipulated by the Act. If the value of Anton’s estate amounted to R300 000, his wife will inherit R250 000 and his two children R25 000 each.

Despite the fact that this situation does not reflect Anton’s wishes at all, the possibility exists that the executor of his estate may have to sell the family home to pay off the outstanding mortgage. (Kindly note that this is not always the case, just a possibility depending on the circumstances.)

It is extremely important to consult an expert for help and assistance with the drafting of a Will.  As your living conditions change, you will also have to update your Will regularly to give effect to your changing needs or wishes.

First of all a Will enables you to express your wishes clearly.  Anton will be able to specify  that his wife is to inherit his entire estate, which could enable her to possibly utilize the cash in his savings account to pay a part of the outstanding mortgage.  This could literally mean the difference between keeping and losing their family home.  It is important to ensure that no ambiguity arise from your wishes, as you will not be here to explain your true intent.

Anton might feel different in a few years’ time and now wish to include his children in his Will.  He can then create a Testamentary Trust in his Will for the benefit of his minor children.  His Will can indicate among others, the Trustees of the Testamentary Trust, who will manage the Trust Assets on behalf of his minor children, as well as the age when their inheritance should be paid out to them.

Furthermore, an expert will be able to give Anton advice on the costs associated with the administration of an estate and the importance of having sufficient cash available in the estate to settle any debt and costs payable during the course of the estate process.  This will ensure that the surviving spouse is not forced to sell assets to pay debt.

Anton will also be able to appoint an Executor in his Will who will be responsible for the administration of his estate.  Since the estate process is a specialized task, it is recommended to appoint an expert in this field.  However, a surviving spouse may be appointed as executor of an estate, who can in return consult with a specialist for assistance.

The death of a loved one is a painful experience, it is important to do everything in your power to make the administration of your estate as carefree as possible for your loved ones.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF TRUSTS

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF TRUSTS

A2BTrusts have various advantages, but unfortunately there are also disadvantages.

Although this is not a complete synopsis of all the pros and cons, our experience may assist you in making decisions about Trusts.

Advantages:

  • Growth taking place in the Trust assets settles in the Trust and not in your personal estate.
  • By selling the assets to the Trust, the amount owed to you by the Trust will remain outstanding on the loan account and shall be regarded as an asset to your estate. This amount may be decreased for Estate duty purposes by utilising the annual Donations Tax exemption of R100 000.
  • A Trust offers protection against problems should you become mentally incompetent. This may also make the appointment of a curator to handle your financial affairs unnecessary.
  • A Trust remains confidential as opposed to documents like wills and records of deceased estates which are public documents and therefore open for inspection.
  • A Trust can offer financial protection to disabled dependents, extravagant children or beneficiaries with special needs.
  • A Trust can evade the administrative costs of consecutive estates by making provision for consecutive beneficiaries.
  • A Trust can lighten the emotional stress on your family when you die because the Trust will continue without any of the formalities that are required from a deceased estate.
  • By choosing your Trustees well you can ensure professional asset and investment management.
  • The Trust will enable you to have a degree of control over the assets in the Trust after your death, via the Trustees.
  • After your death and before the estate has been settled the Trust can provide a source of income for your dependent(s).
  • You will prevent your minor child’s inheritance from being transferred to the Guardian’s Fund.
  • You will avoid the problem of trying to distribute assets equally among the heirs.
  • Trust income can be divided among the beneficiaries with lower tax categories after the death of the initiator when individual exemptions may be utilised, but all taxable income kept in the Trust will be taxed at 40% without exemption benefits.
  • Levels of income may be varied according to the changing needs of the beneficiaries at the discretion of the Trustees.
  • Due to the assets remaining the property of the Trust and not the beneficiaries it need not be included in people’s estates as part of their assets when they die, which effects a saving in Estate duty.
  • The Trust assets will be protected from creditors for the same reason.

Disadvantages:

  • You don’t have full control of your assets, as the other Trustees also have a say in the matter.
  • A Trust is registered and the authorities can gain access to it.
  • You could possible choose the wrong Trustees. You could expect problems if the Trustees are vying heirs. This shows how important it is to have at least one independent Trustee.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.

APPOINTMENT OF THE EXECUTOR OF MY WILL

APPOINTMENT OF THE EXECUTOR OF MY WILL

A1This is a subject which causes more and more discussion and people become more knowledgeable about Executor’s  and how it is calculated.

As mentioned in previous articles, the maximum Executor’s fee is fixed by law.

The current maximum permissible Executor’s fee is 3.5% of the gross estate value plus 14% VAT (should the Executor be registered for VAT).

It seems as though this fee is very fair or even at a very low percentage, but let us illustrate with an example:

Let us suppose that the gross estate value is R2 million. Due to the drastic increase in the value of fixed property over the last few years it is quite possible to attain a gross estate value of R2 million and very realistic if you own fixed property.

R2 million x 3.5% = R70 000-00

Plus 14% VAT = R9 800-00

Total Executor’s fee = R79 800-00

This Executor’s fee does not include any additional administrative costs such as transfer fees of the fixed property or funeral costs. Thus it becomes clear that the cost of administering an estate to the value of R2 million could easily escalate to R100 000. The result is that more and more individuals consider appointing the person who lives longest or another family member as Executor, assuming that the appointed Executor is then enabled to negotiate an Executor’s fee with an institution which will then act as the appointed Executor’s agent.

It does happen, however, that the appointed Executor (e.g. the surviving spouse) is not well-informed about the actions he/she should take when his/her spouse dies, therefore he/she often appoints the first agent who offers his/her services. No negotiation takes place and the agent imposes the maximum tariff as fixed by the law.

Our recommendation is therefore the following:

  1. Appoint the person who lives the longest or another family member as Executor of your estate, but ensure that the appointed Executor is fully aware of the fact that he/she may negotiate the Executor’s fee with an institution; or
  2. Should you have every confidence in an institution, appoint that institution as Executor of your estate, but negotiate beforehand and fix the agreed tariff in your will. Do not leave it up to any other person to negotiate Executor’s fees after you have passed away.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.