In recent years the delays experienced in winding up a deceased estate have increased significantly, to a worrying degree. Complaints to FISA about service failures in the Master’s Office have increased exponentially since 2018.
The Fiduciary Institute of Southern Africa (FISA) is well known to professionals in various fields, including fiduciary practitioners, financial planners, accountants and lawyers. We caught up with FISA CEO Louis van Vuren to find out about the upcoming 11th Annual FISA Conference.
When you divest your assets to a trust, you are changing ownership of the assets to the trust beneficiaries. The trustees must manage the assets in accordance with the trust deed, which forms the basis for governing the management of the trust’s assets. The trust founder (or settlor) may not treat the assets as their own.
A Will is a very important document that we all need to have in place for when we are no longer with our loved ones. If you do not have a valid Will in place when you pass on, then your assets will be dealt with interstate and the state will appoint an executor on your behalf who will handle your estate.
Every year, tens of thousands of South Africans die without a valid will. The effects on their families and loved ones can be devastating, as they are often left without access to funds while the estate is being wound up – a process which can take up to a year, or longer.
Estate planning means making a plan for taking care of your nearest and dearest and dealing with everything you own and owe when you pass away. A will or testament is a legal document where you leave instructions on how you want your family to be taken care of, and who will inherit assets like property, jewellery, cars or investments that you own.
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased awareness around death and the administrative and financial burden that surrounds the passing of a loved one. Recent estimates by the Master of the High Court show as many as 70% of South Africans do not have a legally executable will. This means that the death of a family member or loved one often creates great financial confusion, disarray and conflict for families, at a time they should be mourning.
National Wills Week takes place between 13 - 17 September – a time dedicated to increasing awareness of the importance of having a valid will. According to the Transaction Support Centre (TSC), which assists lower-income clients with property-related issues, too many South Africans have not drafted formal, legal wills, unaware that this could leave their dependents and families in dire straits should they die.
Visit the official COVID-19 government website to stay informed: sacoronavirus.co.za