Estates, Wills and Trusts
We often get inquiries from some of our clients with regards to how the process of transferring the interest of a deceased relative who, was a member of a Close Corporation (CC). We value such inquiries in that it is indicative of the appreciation that our valued clients have for the law, and at the same time giving us an opportunity to provide expert legal assistance.
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It must be noted that it is not enough to remove an Executor merely because of disagreements between the Executor and other interested parties, but a high standard of undesirability or wrongdoing on the part of the Executor need to be satisfied first.
It happens most often that some properties are transferred and sold from a deceased estate, with the purchaser having to transact with the heir or the executor of the deceased estate. In other instances, there is no sale involved, but that the property must be transferred from the deceased estate to the heir who is entitled to inherit such property.
The primary purpose of having a valid will is so that the testator can have the benefit of prescribing the division of his assets to only the beneficiaries he/she desires. In this way, having the assets of the deceased in the wrong hands after his/her death is avoided.
The sale of the assets is one of the most prominent ways of distributing assets. However such sale needs to be at market value, which can be achieved by getting two different valuations and declaring the average. However, the sale of assets such as property and company shares will invite Transfer Duty and Capital Gains Tax.
Although the administration of a deceased estate involves the distribution of benefits to legatees and beneficiaries, the law also requires that applicable taxes and deductions be made before any distribution can be made.
It is important that deductions and taxes are taken into consideration during estate planning and when a will is drawn as this is a complex process especially when the concerned has died.
Setting up a trust is aptly a trusted way to secure inheritance for the benefit of beneficiaries.
A trust can be described as either an inter vivos trust (living trust) which is set up during the life time of the trust founder, or a testamentary trust whose set up is provided for in a will, to be set up when the testator passes away.
Many South Africans are wondering if executing a will during lockdown is possible and, if so, how can it be done while meeting all the legal requirements? Here are some tips on executing a will during lockdown.
With their primary audience being executives and investors, we were honoured to be approached by one of Finweek's business journalists to answer frequently asked questions related to wills and estates in South Africa.
There are many areas of a will that, when not written correctly, can be misinterpreted. The result is your estate is not administered or distributed according to your wishes. This article is the final part of a two-part series that addresses how to write a will in South Africa and, most importantly, what mistakes to avoid.
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