Estate Planning: There’s no time like the present


Estate Planning: What is this, and do I need to do it?

“I’ve taken care of my will, so my estate planning is complete, right?”

Wrong. Having a will is a cornerstone of estate planning, but there are many other elements to consider.

Creating an estate plan is a crucial financial responsibility, which involves not only the drafting of a Last Will and Testament, but also securing the financial future of your dependents. Estate planning takes into account all of your financial affairs and sets structures to manage these in the most efficient manner.

Have a bank account? Yes, you do have an estate.

Almost everyone has an estate – no matter how large or how modest. Your estate is comprised of your bank accounts, furniture, your car and home or properties, life insurance policies and personal possessions. You cannot take any of this with you in the event of your death, so it is important to make plans for the distribution of your assets, as well as the care of your dependents. Naturally, you’d also like these disbursements to take place with the least possible fees relating to taxes, legal costs and court expenses, as well as the minimum amount of stress and anxiety for your loved ones.

“Considerations such as estate duty and capital gains tax could become complicated liabilities for your family, if your estate has not been sufficiently planned and structured,” says Raullene Marais: Director, Bosch Marais & Associates, “so it’s best to take care of what, how and when, while you’re still able to.”

Don’t be like Hansel and Gretel

Leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for your family to follow, trying to uncover your policies, title documents and financial records is likely to heighten stressed emotions and create confusion, if your paperwork is not organised and safely stored. Planning your estate with a clear head will assist you to locate all of your important documents, and file them in a manner which will make matters easier for those you care about, when you’re no longer here.

Innocent errors created by good intentions could lead to untold issues for your family, as well as tax and legal consequences. It is critical to ensure that you have precise and accurate wording on titles and beneficiary designations so that there is no confusion when your estate is being wound up. Bosch Marais & Associates will be able to assist you in correctly recording wording and beneficiaries, so that your plans are carried out as you would have wanted them to be.

There’s no time like the present

Estate planning is an ongoing process, and a blueprint which can be adjusted over time, as your circumstances change. Many people are caught off-guard when death or incapacity strikes, and we’re no longer able to make decisions for ourselves. “The best advice we can give you now is: don’t wait – put something in place to guide and assist those who will be handling your affairs”, emphasises Marais. “Knowing that you have a properly prepared plan will give you and your family peace of mind”.

Bosch Marais & Associates understand that while nobody wants to consider their own mortality, it is essential to plan for the inevitable. Our knowledgeable and experienced team will support you with crucial advice and expertise in planning your estate in the most efficient and beneficial manner possible. Set up a time to discuss your requirements with our team, so you can rest assured your estate is suitably  planned and taken care of.