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What is Estate Planning?

A question frequently asked by our clients is: How can I arrange my assets to the best advantage? This question is especially prevalent for our clients who are selling, buying, and investing in assets, whether it is immovable property, foreign property, capital investments, or shares in companies.

Estate Planning, in short, refers to arranging your assets in a way that protects the assets as well as avoids the paying of unnecessary Estate Duty or other taxes. As the term suggests, there is a proactive step involved – you must plan with the options available to you when buying or selling assets.

This of course doesn’t just involve tax benefits, but the planning must also allow for the estate planner to still be able to enjoy his/her estate whilst having access thereto; thus a type of retirement plan to provide for future capital.

When planning an estate, flexibility is of the utmost importance because circumstances can change and so does the law. The most important objectives when wanting to plan your estate should be the following:

  • Minimize taxes to be paid – this includes Estate Duty, Donations Tax, Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax, and Foreign taxes.

  • Ensure that you do not create unnecessary complications for your loved ones in the future when having to finalize your estate or having to access funds for maintenance.

  • Ensure that the estate remains liquid with the necessary cash flow for payment of property transfer expenses, attorney, and other costs involved. This will alleviate financial and emotional stress for your loved ones.

  • Structure your assets in such a way that you do not have to sell off assets in order to settle other obligations.

  • Provide the necessary income and capital for your dependents.

  • Ensure that your estate provides you with capital for your retirement.

There are various techniques available to plan your estate to ensure that you meet the above objectives. Contact our Wills and Estates Department on 041 363 6044 or for assistance with planning your estate.

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This article is not intended to constitute legal advice and is produced for information purposes only and to provide a general understanding of the legal position relating to the topic. It is recommended that advice relating to the specific circumstances of your situation be sought from our attorneys before acting upon the content of this article. This article was written at a particular point in time and accordingly may not always reflect the most recent legal developments, if any, applicable to the relevant topic. Kaplan Blumberg and its partners and/or employees, are not responsible for any consequences which may follow upon any decision taken to act upon the information provided in this article.

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