Updating your will: Do you have your affairs in order?

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Another year is already in its second month and it is perhaps time to review your current will.

What will be required when I die?

A death in a family is unfortunately something that we will all experience sooner or later.

The Red Cross Children’s Hospital Trust provided us with a very handy book – click here to download the LifeBook to ensure that all your affairs are in order.

How old must an heir be?

You may have sold or acquired a new property, or your children grew older – in our family, our youngest daughter recently turned 21 years old. Way back when, in 1980 when I worked at the office of the Master of the High Court, the legal statutory age was 21 years.

Protect your heirs

With the legal age of majority reduced to 18 years, a child who is only 18 years old is entitled to full control of his or her inheritance and as such one may perhaps need to consider leaving the inheritance to such an heir in a trust. If you do not “have” a current trust, also called an “inter vivos” or “living” trust, it is very easy and effective to create a testamentary trust in your will to care for your beneficiaries.

My experience has showed that most parents prefer their children to receive their inheritance only after they reach a more mature age, most often when they reach the age of 25 years old.

Do something good

A special bequest to a charitable trust also qualifies as a deduction for estate duty purposes, but one does not have to be “super” wealthy [where your estate may have “estate duty” considerations] to make a special bequest to a charitable institution – any testator or testatrix can consider a special bequest in their will.

Read more about the special work of the Children’s Hospital Trust and perhaps consider them as a special beneficiary in your next will.

Read more on: Lifebook PDF ,Childrens Hospital Trust and Wills

Meyer de Waal

If you need any assistance with the drafting of a new will or estate and estate duty planning and structures – please contact Meyer de Waal – meyer@mdwinc.co.za or Debbie Webber – Debbie@mdwinc.co.za

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. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

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