Ruling from the grave a bad idea

Most of us want our possessions to be distributed very specifically when we die – the family home to one child, the holiday home to the other, a share portfolio to the surviving spouse, cash to a favoured charity – and on it goes.  Having our wishes carried out after death and controlling the allocation of our assets is the reason we have Wills drawn up in the first place.

David Knott of Private Client Trust

However, according to David Knott of Private Client Trust, the fiduciary services division of Private Client Holdings, many people are too controlling in their Will and leave instructions that are inflexible, unrealistic and frustrating for your heirs.

“People are often inclined to have very definite ideas as to what should happen to their hard-earned estate after they have passed away, and their Will would, therefore, be constructed in very precise terms dealing with each of the assets and spelling out exactly how and when they are to be disposed of, or retained for future generations.

“For example, sometimes, out of worry of the money being squandered or of creating laziness, parents can be hesitant to let their children have access to capital too early in life and so they set out very specific instructions in their Will – down to the education and career path that their heirs have to follow – complete with where and what they are to study and at what stages of life the capital can be released to them from trusts,” says Knott.

“Whilst all these instructions are sound in logic as the parent is only wanting the best for their family, we cannot predict the future and the ‘rule from the grave’ instructions cannot anticipate how circumstances will change after the death of the testator.  Financial markets could be in turmoil; the family business in a trough; the children may have no desire or aptitude to follow the ‘chosen’ career path; they may have moved to another country or be going through an emotional divorce or rocky insolvency.”

 Knott advises that it is for these and many other reasons that a Will must be as flexible as possible.

 “An effective Will should consider variable possible future scenarios and adapt accordingly.  Maybe the trust should not terminate just yet; perhaps a holiday home should be purchased or the business sold.”

However, Knott cautions that for this flexible Will to be efficient, the testator must have trust in their executor and trustee. “The executor and trustee must be of impeccable integrity, have expert financial ability to manage the affairs of another and have the emotional intelligence to deal with beneficiaries who may not have financial common sense just yet.”

“It is highly recommended that one contracts the services of professional fiduciary experts when drafting your Will and choosing your executor and testator,” he says.



Latest


21 Sep 2020
Women are lagging in retirement savings and are debilitated by stress

In a recent study of their client base, Momentum Corporate revealed that almost half (41%) of the employees on the…

Women are lagging in retirement savings and are debilitated by stress

In a recent study of their client base, Momentum Corporate revealed that almost half (41%) of the employees on the FundsAtWork Umbrella Funds are women. With an almost 50/50 gender split across the client base, a one-size-fits-all approach to advice on employee benefits simply won’t cut it. This is according…

15 Sep 2020
Despite COVID-19, SA investors expect higher future returns

Even as COVID-19 halted the longest economic expansion on record and plunged the world into deep recession, South African investors…

Despite COVID-19, SA investors expect higher future returns

Even as COVID-19 halted the longest economic expansion on record and plunged the world into deep recession, South African investors expect to make an average annual total return of 12.67% – almost 2% higher than the global average predicted returns of 10.9%. This was revealed in the recently released Schroders’…

15 Sep 2020
Are cryptocurrencies here to stay?

The recent news that cryptocurrency giant, Digital Currency Group, has acquired cryptocurrency exchange company, Luno, has once again highlighted the…

Are cryptocurrencies here to stay?

The recent news that cryptocurrency giant, Digital Currency Group, has acquired cryptocurrency exchange company, Luno, has once again highlighted the rise of cryptocurrencies as a possible alternative to the current global financial system. According to Old Mutual Investment Group Director of Investments, Hywel George, Bitcoin, as well as a number…

10 Sep 2020
How too much choice is draining your brain

By: Paul Nixon, head of technical marketing and behavioural finance at Momentum Investments From the words of Francis Scott Key…

How too much choice is draining your brain

By: Paul Nixon, head of technical marketing and behavioural finance at Momentum Investments From the words of Francis Scott Key that dubbed America “The land of the free”, which stuck, to the unforgettable Mel Gibson monologue where an army of painted Scots were willing to trade their lives for the…


Top stories


10 Apr 2020
When the going gets tough, farmers are on familiar territory

South African farmers are old hands at adapting to uncertain and daunting circumstances, and our local agricultural industry has proved…

When the going gets tough, farmers are on familiar territory

South African farmers are old hands at adapting to uncertain and daunting circumstances, and our local agricultural industry has proved to be most enterprising in acclimatising to challenges as they arise.

13 Apr 2020
Investors should keep a reasonable investment allocation outside of SA

MoneyMarketing asked Roland Gräbe, the head of Tailored Fund Portfolios at Old Mutual Wealth, about offshore investments in the COVID-19…

Investors should keep a reasonable investment allocation outside of SA

MoneyMarketing asked Roland Gräbe, the head of Tailored Fund Portfolios at Old Mutual Wealth, about offshore investments in the COVID-19 environment and what form a global market recovery will take.

13 Apr 2020
SA’s Proposed Covid-19 Disaster Management Tax Relief

The National Treasury recently issued the draft Disaster Management Tax Relief Bill (Bill) for public comment by 15 April. The…

SA’s Proposed Covid-19 Disaster Management Tax Relief

The National Treasury recently issued the draft Disaster Management Tax Relief Bill (Bill) for public comment by 15 April. The draft Bill, together with its explanatory memorandum, provides clarity with regards the tax relief measures President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on 23 March.

11 Apr 2020
Finding investment opportunities among the many COVID-19 risks

With many countries around the world in lockdown as they try to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the…

Finding investment opportunities among the many COVID-19 risks

With many countries around the world in lockdown as they try to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the global economy is facing an unprecedented situation of balancing health against financial livelihoods.


Visit the official COVID-19 government website to stay informed: sacoronavirus.co.za