Category Archives: Wills and Estates

Should I draft a will?

B2A mother who has always wanted her daughter to inherit her diamond engagement ring may never get her wish granted if she dies without leaving a valid written will. The mother’s estate would then be distributed in terms of the Intestate Succession Act No. 81 of 1987. 

Know where you want your possessions to go

Taking the time to draft a will can leave you with the peace of mind that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes as far as possible. Your will should reflect exactly how you want your assets to be dealt with after your death and should not be contra bonos mores (against good morals). It should also not amount to “ruling from the grave”.

What makes a valid will?

There are a number of legal requirements that have to be complied with for a will to be valid.  If it does not comply with all of these requirements it could be found to be invalid. Your estate would then also be dealt with in terms of the Intestate Succession Act of 1987. It is therefore very importance that you obtain the assistance of a lawyer to help you raft a will.

A will should also regularly be revised and updated to adapt to your changing circumstances, for example after getting married, and when there is a child in the mix. Section 2B of the Wills Act No. 7 of 1953 (as amended by the Law of Succession Act No. 43 of 1992) deals specifically with a change in marital status by way of divorce, and reads as follows:

If any person dies within three months after his marriage was dissolved by a divorce or annulment by a competent court and that person executed a will before the date of such dissolution, that will shall be implemented in the same manner as it would have been implemented if his previous spouse had died before the date of the dissolution concerned, unless it appears from the will that the testator intended to benefit his previous spouse notwithstanding the dissolution of his marriage.”

An example

A and B get divorced and B dies within three months of the date of the divorce. B’s will was executed before they got divorced. Unless B’s will specifically indicated that A must benefit from B’s estate despite the divorce, B’s estate will then be distributed as if A died before they got divorced. A will therefore not inherit from B’s estate in this scenario. However, should B die more than 3 months after the divorce and B’s will, which benefits A, was not changed, then it will be seen as if B intended A to inherit, despite the divorce.

A person who was previously married and who remarries, should ensure that the necessary changes are made to his/her will. If not, this could have profound consequences for the “new” spouse, especially if the will still benefits the spouse from the previous marriage.

When there are minor children in the picture, it is advisable to make adequate provision for their living costs and education in your will. This can be done by creating a testamentary trust of which the minor children can be beneficiaries.

Conclusion

Thinking and talking about one’s passing is not a pleasant subject. Having a valid, clear and unambiguous will can prevent unpleasant family feuds caused by them having to make decisions about the distribution of your estate. It is certainly worth the time and effort to have a valid written will in place.

References:

Drafting of Wills 2013 – LEAD

Intestate Succession Act 81/1987

Wills Act 7/1953

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).

Do it NOW, for LATER

2 - CopyImagine being able to control the future, just by signing a few documents with your attorney now? Get it done sooner, because the dreaded future could come tomorrow.

Drafting a Will is a carefully thought out process, because it is your last wish. By doing it now, you can take your time, and make changes if there are any you want to make.

Make an appointment with an attorney to draft your Will – FREE during National Wills Week (11 to 15 September 2017).

Get started this Wills Week by getting in touch with one of our attorneys.

Click here to book an appointment

What are mutual wills?

B1The most general mutual will is that of a married couple. This does not mean, however, that the estates are joined and that the Testator and Testatrix have to make a joint decision about the distribution of their estates. Each party may still make independent decisions about the distribution of his/her estate within one will.

As a result, a mutual will is very popular among married couples, but the person who draws up the will, should take into consideration each party’s assets, liabilities and needs regarding inheritance to determine whether he/she should draw up separate wills or a mutual will, i.e. 2 separate wills within one document or one will which determines that merging of the respective or mutual wills should take place.

What mutual wills should contain

In the case of a mutual will there should be a description regarding the execution of the will should the spouses die simultaneously or within a short period, such as 30 days of each other. For argument’s sake, the Testator and Testatrix could be in a car accident. The testator dies and the Testatrix is in a critical condition, rendering her unable to draw up a new will; provision should be made in the will for such scenarios.

Legislation acknowledges the principle of freedom of bequeathment; each person therefore has the right to bequeath his/her assets according to his/her preference. Despite a Testator and Testatrix having a mutual will, one of the parties could decide, for whatever reason, to have another individual will drawn up which is dated later than the mutual will. The surviving spouse will not be able to insist that the mutual will be accepted as the last will and testament.

Amending a mutual will

One party does not need the other party’s permission to amend a mutual will. Each party has the right to draw up a new will at any time, without any obligation to inform the other party thereof. Should the mutual will turn out to be the last will of the deceased, it will become the valid will regarding the deceased, regardless of whether the surviving spouse had already drawn up another will.

Do the estates merge?

Merging of estates takes place when the estates of two people are joined into one upon the death of the first spouse, mainly with the aim of managing an asset in which both parties had an interest. Normally a limited right, such as a usufruct, should be created in terms of any of the assets in the estate to the benefit of the surviving spouse. Even with merging of estates the surviving party has the right to accept or reject the mutual will and the resulting merging of estate assets after the death of the first party. It boils down to the fact that, even where merging of estates is determined in the will, the mutual will does not have much value if the surviving party rejects the stipulations of the will after the death of the deceased party.

The way in which the creation of the merge is worded in a will is of extreme importance, as the wrong choice of words could have a major impact on the payment of policies outside the estate which should fall to the surviving party’s lot. The acceptance or rejection of a will in which a merge was created should also be considered carefully, as there are several implications, e.g. Transfer duty, Donations tax and Capital Gains Tax.

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).

Owning property without a Will

B2If you die without a Will, an administrator will have to be appointed to administer your estate which will be distributed according to the laws of intestate succession. As such, your assets may not be distributed as you would have wished. It also means that the process will be delayed and that there will be additional expense and frustration which most people would not want to inflict on their loved ones during a time of loss.

Marriage and property

When drafting your Will, it’s important to consider the nature of your relationship with your ‘significant other’. If you are married in community of property, you only own half of all assets registered in your name and that of your spouse. Your spouse therefore still remains a one half share owner of any fixed property you may want to bequeath to a third party which could potentially present difficulties.

If you are married in terms of the accrual regime, the calculation to determine which spouse has a claim against the other to equalise the growth of the respective estates only occurs at death. Your spouse may therefore have a substantial claim against your estate necessitating the sale of assets you had not intended to be sold.

Alongside your Will, you should also prepare the following in relation to any immovable property you may own:

  1. State where your title deeds are kept and record any outstanding bonds and all insurance
  2. File up-to-date rates and taxes receipts
  3. Record details of the leases on any property you have
  4. State who collects your rent
  5. State who compiles your yearly accounts
  6. State where your water, lights and refuse deposit receipts are kept

If you die without a Will

According to the according to Intestate Succession Act, 1987, your estate will be distributed as follows:

  1. Only spouse survives: Entire estate goes to spouse.
  2. Only descendants survive: Estate is divided between descendants.
  3. Spouse & descendants survive: The spouse gets R250 000 or a child’s share and the balance is divided equally between the spouse and descendants.
  4. Both parents survive: Total share is divided equally between both parents.
  5. One parent: Total Estate goes to the parent.
  6. One parent & descendants: Half the Estate goes to the parent; balance is divided equally amongst descendants.
  7. No spouse; No descendants; No parents; but descendants through mother & descendants through father: Estate divided into two parts: half to descendants through mother; half to descendants through father.
  8. No spouse; No descendants; No parents; No descendants through mother or father: Full Proceeds of the Estate has to be paid into the Guardians Fund in the event of no descendants whatsoever.

References:

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).

Dealing with marriage and estate planning

A3_GTIt is important to understand the legal implications of the marital property regime, especially when drafting a Last Will and Testament and also when entering into a marriage, as the regime chosen by the estate planner is going to affect his/her assets.

The most important forms of marriage are: marriage in community of property, marriage out of community of property (without accrual), and marriage out of community of property (with accrual).

Marriage in community of property

  1. There is no prior contractual arrangement, apart from getting married;
  2. Spouses do not have two distinct estates;
  3. There is a joint estate, with each spouse having a 50% share in each and every asset in the estate (no matter in whose name it is registered);
  4. Applies to assets acquired before the marriage and during the marriage;
  5. Should one spouse incur debts in his own name it will automatically bind his/her spouse, who will also become liable for the debt;
  6. If a sequestration takes place (in the case of insolvency), the joint estate is sequestrated.

Marriage out of community of property without the accrual system

  1. An antenuptial contract (ANC) is drawn up by an attorney (who is registered as a notary), before the marriage;
  2. Where there is no contract, the marriage is automatically in community of property;
  3. The values of each spouse’s estate on going into the marriage are stipulated in the contract;
  4. A marriage by ANC means that all property owned by spouses before the date of the marriage will remain the sole property of each spouse;
  5. Each spouse controls his/her own estate exclusively without interference from the other spouse, although each has a duty to contribute to the household expenses according to his/her means;
  6. To allow for assets acquired by spouses during the marriage to remain the sole property of each spouse, the accrual system must be specifically excluded in the ANC.

Marriage out of community of property with the accrual system

  1. The accrual system automatically applies unless expressly excluded in the antenuptial contract;
  2. The accrual system addresses the question of the growth of each spouse’s estate after the date of marriage.

ESTATE PLANNING

Donations between spouses are exempt from donations tax and estate duty.

Marriage in community of property

  1. In the event of the death of one spouse, the surviving spouse will have a claim for 50% of the value of the combined estate, thus reducing the actual value of the estate by 50%. The estate is divided after all the debts have been settled in a deceased estate (not including burial costs and estate duty, as these are the sole obligations of the deceased and not the joint estate).
  2. When drafting a Last Will and Testament, spouses married in community of property need to be aware that it is only half of any asset that he or she is able to bequeath.
  3. Upon the death of one spouse, all banking accounts are frozen (even if they are in the name of one of the spouses), which could affect liquidity.
  4. Donations or bequests to someone married in community of property can be made to exclude the community of property; in other words, if the donor stipulates that the donation must not fall into the joint estate, then the donee can build up a separate estate. However, returns on such separate assets will go back to the joint estate.

Marriage out of community of property without the accrual system

Each estate planner (spouse) retains possession of assets owned prior to the marriage.

Marriage out of community of property with the accrual system

A donation from one spouse to the other spouse is excluded from the calculation of each spouse’s accrual; in other words, the recipient does not include it in his growth and the donor’s accrual is automatically reduced by the donation amount.

DIVORCE

In the event of divorce, the marriage will be dissolved by court decree, which will address such aspects as child maintenance, access, guardianship and custody, spousal maintenance, the division of assets, division of pension interests and so on.

COHABITATION AND DEFINITION OF “SPOUSE”

Cohabitation is defined as a stable, monogamous relationship where a couple who do not wish to or cannot get married, live together as spouses. The Taxation Laws Amendment Act has extended the definition of “spouses” to include “a same sex or heterosexual union which the Commissioner is satisfied is intended to be permanent”.

Many pieces of legislation, including the Pension Funds Amendment Act and the Taxation Laws Amendment Act, now define spouse to include a partner in a cohabitative relationship, the effects of which are that cohabitees will benefit from the Section 4(q) estate duty deduction in the Estate Duty Act, and the donations tax exemptions of the Income Tax Act.

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)

U testament : ‘n Belangrike dokument

A4_GTDie lewe is baie onvoorspelbaar en ons adviseer graag kliënte om erns te maak om ‘n testament in plek te hê en boedelbeplanning te doen. Hieronder is redes waarom dit een van u belangrikste prioriteite behoort te wees.

V: Hoekom behoort ek ‘n testament te hê?

A: ‘n Testament stel u in staat om erfgename volgens u keuse te benoem. Indien u sonder ‘n testament (intestaat) sou sterf, sal u bates volgens die Wet op Intestate Erfopvolging verdeel word. Dit mag dus die gevolg hê dat persone wie u nie as erfgename sou benoem nie, voordele by u afsterwe ontvang.

V: Wie mag u testament as getuie onderteken?

A: Die testament moet in die teenwoordigheid van twee getuies geteken word, wat ook in die teenwoordigheid van mekaar teken. Slegs persone 14 jaar en ouer kwalifiseer om as getuies te teken.

V: Wat beloop Eksekuteursvergoeding?

A: Die maksimum vergoeding waarop ‘n Eksekuteur geregtig is, word deur Wetgewing vasgestel en beloop tans 3.5% van u totale bruto boedelwaarde. Eksekuteursvergoeding behoort egter onderhandel te word met die persoon wat as Eksekuteur van u testament benoem word.

V: Hoe gereeld behoort ek my testament te hersien?

A: Dit word aanbeveel dat testamente ten minste elke 2 jaar hersien word. Dit is egter ook belangrik om die hersiening van u testament met gebeurtenisse soos bv. ‘n huwelik, ‘n geboorte, ‘n egskeiding of die aankoop van eiendom te oorweeg.

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies. (E&OE)

The Living Will

A1_GTMost  people are familiar with a will or testament and understand the importance of having this legal declaration drafted, by which the testator nominates an executor to manage his or her estate and provide for the distribution of his or her property to beneficiaries when he or she dies.

But how many people have considered drafting a living will?

A living will does not deal with assets, heirs and beneficiaries, but with the philosophy of death and dying, and should be considered carefully and drafted by a professional.

A living will is a legal document expressing a person’s wishes regarding life-prolonging medical treatment when that person can no longer voice his or her wishes.  It is also referred to as an advance medical directive.

A typical clause in a living will would read as follows:

If the time comes when I can no longer take part in decisions for my own future, let this declaration stand as my directive.

If I suffer from physical illness or impairment expected to cause me severe distress, rendering  me incapable of rational existence, from which there is no reasonable prospect of recovery,  I withhold my consent to be kept alive by artificial means and do not give my consent to any form of tube-feeding when I am dying; and I request that I receive whatever quantity of drugs and intravenous fluids as may be required to keep me comfortable and  free from pain  even if the moment of death is hastened. I withhold my consent to any attempt at resuscitation, should my heart and breathing stop and my prognosis is hopeless.

The living will tells the doctor and family that the patient does not consent to being kept alive artificially. It speaks for the patient at a time when the patient may be unable to communicate.

South African law and most religions accepts the validity of the living will, but none of the main religions accept euthanasia.

Euthanasia is against the law. Sean Davison, the respected UWC professor who helped his 85-year-old terminally ill mother, Patricia Ferguson, die in New Zealand by preparing a lethal dose of morphine, was arrested in New Zealand in September 2010 on an attempted murder charge.

It is important to have a properly drafted, legal living will to avoid far reaching and traumatic consequences for the loved ones that stay behind.

Many lawyers who practice in the area of estate planning include a living will and a health care power of attorney in their package of estate planning documents.

The advantages of a living will

  1. The directives respect the patient’s human rights, and in particular his or her right to reject medical treatment.
  2. It encourages full discussion about end-of-life decisions.
  3. It also means that the medical staff and caregivers are aware of the patient’s wishes, and knowing what the patient wants means that doctors are more likely to give appropriate treatment.
  4. It will avoid the situation where the patient’s family and friends have to take the difficult decisions.

Disadvantages of  a living will

  1.  Drafting this document  can  be very depressing.
  2. The person may still be healthy and not in a position to actually imagine that he or she could ever be in the position where they would voluntarily give up living.
  3. When the time comes to act on the living will the patient might have changed his or her mind and it is then often difficult to amend the document.

Important points to consider

  1. The living will should not be incorporated or attached to the last will and testament, which is only acted upon after death.
  2. A living will does not become effective unless the patient becomes incapacitated; until then the patient will be able to choose appropriate treatment.
  3. A certificate by the patient’s doctor and another independent doctor certifying that the patient is either suffering from a terminal illness or permanently unconscious, is required before the living will becomes effective. In the case of a heart attack, the living will does not take effect. A living will is only executed when ultimate recovery is hopeless.
  4. You have to notify  your doctor and family of your living will and preferably have copies of the document available for the doctor, hospital  and  family.

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.

Die benoeming van ‘n eksekuteur in my testament

A3Hierdie is ‘n onderwerp waaroor al hoe meer besprekings en argumente plaasvind en dit is ook so dat individue meer ingelig raak oor wat die fooie is waarop die Eksekuteur van ‘n boedel geregtig is en hoe die fooie bereken word.

Soos ons in vorige atikels melding gemaak het, word die maksimum vergoeding waarop ‘n Eksekuteur geregtig is deur wetgewing vasgestel. Die huidige Eksekuteursvergoeding waarop ‘n Eksekuteur geregtig is, beloop tans 3.5% van die bruto boedelwaarde plus 14% BTW (indien die Eksekuteur natuurlik vir BTW geregistreer is).

Op die oog af blyk dit dat die vergoeding teen ‘n billike of selfs baie lae persentasie gehef word, maar kom ons illustreer dit met ‘n voorbeeld:

Kom ons veronderstel die bruto boedelwaarde beloop R2 miljoen. Neem kennis dat weens die drastiese stygings in die waarde van onroerende eiendomme oor die laaste paar jare, ‘n boedel met ‘n bruto waarde van R2 miljoen maklik haalbaar en baie realisties is indien u onroerende eiendom besit.

R2 miljoen x 3.5% = R70 000-00

Plus 14% BTW = R9 800-00

Totale Eksekuteursvergoeding = R79 800-00

Laasgenoemde Eksekuteursvergoeding sluit nie enige ander administrasiekostes bv. oordragkostes van die onroerende eiendom of begrafniskostes in nie. Dit is dus duidelik dat kostes om die administrasie van ‘n boedel met ‘n waarde van R2 miljoen af te handel maklik meer as R100 000 kan beloop. Die gevolg is dat individue al hoe meer oorweging daaraan gee om die langslewende of ‘n ander familielid as Eksekuteur te benoem, met die veronderstelling dat die genomineerde Eksekuteur dan in ‘n posisie geplaas word om die Eksekuteursvergoeding met ‘n instelling te onderhandel, wat dan as die genomineerde Eksekuteur se agent sal optree.

Dit gebeur egter dat die genomineerde Eksekuteur (bv. die langslewende gade) nie deeglik ingelig word oor wat hy/sy te doen staan indien sy/haar gade te sterwe sou kom nie en gevolglik stel hy/sy die eerste agent aan wat sy/haar dienste aanbied, geen onderhandeling vind plaas nie en die agent hef dus maar nog steeds die volle tarief wat deur wetgewing vasgestel word.

Ons aanbeveling is dus die volgende:

  1. Benoem die langslewende of ‘n ander familielid as Eksekuteur van jou boedel, maar maak seker dat die benoemde Eksekuteur deeglik kennis dra dat hy/sy die Eksekuteursvergoeding met ‘n instelling kan onderhandel; of
  2. Indien jy voldoende vertroue in ‘n instelling het, benoem die instelling as Eksekuteur van jou boedel, maar onderhandel die Eksekuteursvergoeding voortydig en maak die ooreengekome tarief in die testament vas. Moet dit dus nie aan iemand anders oorlaat om na jou afsterwe oor Eksekuteursfoooie te onderhandel nie.

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies.

Implikasies van boedelbelasting

A1Boedelbelasting word, kragtens die Wet op Boedelbelasting, gehef op die belasbare waarde van die boedel. Die algemene reël is dat indien die belastingbetaler gewoonlik in Suid-Afrika woonagtig is ten tye van sy/haar dood, al die bates (insluitend eiendom geag eiendom te wees), waar ook al geleë, ingesluit sal word in die brutowaarde van die boedel vir die bepaling van die boedelbelasting daarop betaalbaar.

Tans bedra boedelbelasting 20% van die belasbare waarde van die boedel. Buitelanders/nie-inwoners betaal ook boedelbelasting op hulle eiendom in Suid-Afrika.

Om die gevolge van boedelbelasting te minimaliseer, moet ‘n mens die berekening daarvan verstaan. Die volgende is van toepassing in die bepaling van jou aanspreeklikheid:

  1. Watter eiendom ingesluit moet word.
  2. Watter eiendom “geagte eiendom” is.
  3. Toelaatbare aftrekkings: die moontlikeaftrekkingswat toegelaat wordby die bereddering van die 

Eiendom sluit in alle eiendom of enige reg op eiendom, inbegrepe roerende of onroerende, liggaamlike of onliggaamlike eiendom wat geregistreer is in die oorledene se naam tydens sy/haar dood. Dit sluit ook sekere tipes annuïteite, opsies om grond of aandele te koop, welwillendheid en intellektuele eiendom in. 

Geagte eiendom

  1. Versekeringspolisse
    • Sluit opbrengste in van binnelandse versekeringspolisse (betaalbaar in Suid-Afrika in die Suid-Afrikaanse geldeenheid [ZAR]), uitgeneem op die lewe van die oorledene, ongeag wie die eienaar (begunstigde) is.
    • Die opbrengs van so ‘n polis is onderhewig aan Dit kan egter verminder word met die bedrag van die premies, plus rente teen 6% per jaar, in die mate wat die premies deur ‘n derde persoon (die begunstigde) wat geregtig is op die opbrengs van die polis, betaal is. Premies betaal deur die oorledene is nie vir boedelbelastingdoeleindes aftrekbaar van die opbrengs nie.
    • As die opbrengs van ‘n polis betaalbaar is aan die langslewende eggenoot of aan ‘n kind van die oorledene kragtens ‘n behoorlik geregistreerde huweliksvoorwaardekontrak (d.w.s. geregistreer by die Aktekantoor) sal die polis geheel en al vrygestel wees van boedelbelasting.
    • Waar ‘n polis deur besigheidsvennote uitgeneem word op mekaar se lewens en daar aan sekere kriteria voldoen word, word die opbrengs van boedelbelasting vrygestel.
  1. Voordele betaalbaar deur pensioen- en ander fondse deur of as gevolg van die dood van die oorledeneBetalings deur sodanige fondse (pensioen-, aftree-annuïteit-, voorsorgfondse) bestaan gewoonlik uit twee komponente – ‘n enkelbedrag by die dood en ‘n annuïteit daarna. Die enkelbedragkomponent was vroeër onderhewig aan boedelbelasting, maar vanaf  1 Januarie 2009 word geen bedrag wat ontvang is van so ‘n fonds ingesluit by die boedel van die oorledene vir boedelbelastingdoeleindes nie.
  1. Skenkings ten tye van doodSkenkings waar die begunstigde nie sal baat tot en met die afsterwe van die skenker nie, en waar die skenking slegs realiseer as die skenker te sterwe kom, is nie onderworpe aan skenkingsbelasting nie. Dit moet ingesluit word as ‘n bate in die oorledene se boedel en is onderhewig aan boedelbelasting.
  1. Eise kragtens die Wet op Huweliksgoedere (aanwas-eise)‘n Aanwas-eis wat die boedel van ‘n oorledene teen die langslewende gade het, is eiendom geag eiendom te wees in die oorledene se boedel.
  1. Eiendom wat die oorledene by magte was om te vervreem onmiddellik voor sy dood (Artikel 3(3)(d) van die Wet op Boedelbelasting), soos byvoorbeeld om ‘n bate aan ‘n trust te skenk, kan beskou word geagte eiendom te wees. 

Aftrekkings

Sommige van die belangrikste toelaatbare aftrekkings is die volgende:

  1. Die koste van diebegrafnis, grafsteen en sterfbeduitgawes.
  1. Skulde wat op datumvan afsterwe verskuldig is aan persone wat primêr woonagtig is in Suid-Afrika.
  1. Die mate waarin hierdie skulde vereffen moet word uit eiendom ingesluit in die boedel. Dit sluit in die oorledene se inkomstebelasting betaalbaar (ook kapitaalwinsbelasting) tot en met datum van afsterwe.
  1. Buitelandse bates en regte:
    • Die algemene reël is dat buitelandse bates en regte van ‘n Suid-Afrikaanse burger, waar ook al geleë, as ‘n bate by sy boedel ingesluit is.
    • Diewaardedaarvankan egterafgetrek word virboedelbelastingdoeleindes waar sodanige buitelandse eiendom verkry is voor die oorledene vir die eerste keer gewoonlik woonagtig in Suid-Afrika geword het, of die eiendom bekom is by wyse van skenking of erflating van ‘n nie-burger nadat die begunstigde vir die eerste keer gewoonlik woonagtig in Suid-Afrika geword het (met dien verstandedat die skenkeroferflater niegewoonlik woonagtig inSuid-Afrika was ten tye van die skenkingof dood nie). Die bedrag van enige winste of opbrengs van enige sodanige eiendom is ook aftrekbaar.
  1. Skulde en laste verskuldig aan nie-inwoners:
    Skulde en laste verskuldig aan nie-inwoners is aftrekbaar, maar slegs in die mate wat sodanige skuld die waarde van die oorledene se bates geleë buite Suid-Afrika wat nie in die belasbare boedel ingesluit is nie, oorskry.
  1. Bemakings aan sekere openbare weldaadorganisasies:
    Waar eiendom bemaak is aan openbare weldaad- of welsynsorganisasies wat vrygestel is van inkomstebelasting, of aan die Staat of enige plaaslike owerheid in Suid-Afrika, sal die waarde van sulke eiendom van boedelbelasting afgetrek kan word.
  1. Eiendom bemaak aan langslewende gade [Artikel 4(q)]:
    • Dit sluit in daardie deel van die waarde van die eiendom wat aan die langslewende gade bemaak is en wat nog nie as ‘n aftrekking toegelaat is nie.
    • Let daarop dat die opbrengs van ‘n polis betaalbaar aan die langslewende gade, as geagte eiendom in die boedel ingesluit word vir boedelbelastingdoeleindes, maar dat dit aftrekbaar is kragtens Artikel 4(q).
    • Artikel4(q)-aftrekkings sal nie toegestaan ​​wordwaar dieeiendom watgeërfis onderhewig is aan ‘n erflatingsprys nie.
    • Artikel 4(q)-aftrekkings sal nie toegestaan word waar die bemaking is aan ‘n trust wat tot die voordeel van die langslewende gade geskep is, indien die trustee(s) ‘n diskresie het om sodanige eiendom of enige inkomste daaruit aan enige ander persoon buiten die langslewende gade te allokeer nie (‘n diskresionêre trust). Waar die trustee(s) geen diskresie met betrekking tot beide die inkomste en kapitaal van die trust het nie, kan die Artikel 4(q)-aftrekking toegestaan word (‘n gevestigde trust).

Toelaatbare R 3.5 miljoen-afrekking tussen gades

Die Wet maak voorsiening dat die R3.5 miljoen-aftrekking van boedelbelasting van die oorledene verplaas kan word na die langslewende gade sodat die langslewende gade ‘n R7 miljoen-aftrekking kan gebruik by sy/haar dood. Die verplaasbaarheid van die aftrekking is slegs van toepassing as die hele waarde van die boedel van die eerssterwende gade nagelaat is aan die langslewende gade. 

Lewensversekering vir boedelbelasting

Boedelbelasting sal normaalweg ook gehef word op hierdie versekeringsopbrengste.

Bron: Moore Stephens se “Estate Planning Guide”.

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies.

Gesamentlike testamente

A1Die mees algemene gesamentlike testament is dié van ‘n getroude paar. Dit beteken egter nie noodwendig dat die boedels saamgevoeg word en dat die Testateur en Testatrise dan gesamentlik oor die verdeling van hulle boedels moet besluit nie. Elke party kan steeds binne een testament afsonderlik oor die verdeling van sy/haar boedel besluit. Gevolglik is ‘n gesamentlike testament ‘n baie algemene verskynsel onder getroude pare, maar die persoon wat die testament opstel, moet met inagneming van die partye se bates, laste en ook hulle behoeftes vir vererwing oorweeg of hy ‘n afsonderlike of gesamentlike testament wil opstel, m.a.w. 2 afsonderlike testamente in een dokument omvat of een testament wat bepaal dat boedelsamesmelting van die onderskeie of gemeenskaplike boedels moet plaasvind.

In die geval van ‘n gesamentlike testament moet daar ook omskryf word hoe die testament uitgevoer moet word waar die man en vrou gelyktydig of binne ‘n kort periode bv. binne 30 dae na mekaar te sterwe sou kom. Die Testateur en Testatrise kon vir die argument in ‘n ongeluk betrokke gewees het.  Die Testateur sterf en die Testatrise is in ‘n kritieke toestand en gevolglik nie in staat om weer ‘n testament op te stel nie; daar moet dus vir sulke gevalle in die testament voorsiening gemaak word.

Wetgewing erken die beginsel van testeervryheid; elke persoon het dus die reg om sy/haar bates te laat vererf soos hy/sy wil.  ‘n Testateur en Testatrise sou dus ‘n gesamentlike testament kon hê en een van die partye kan besluit (om watter rede ook al) om ‘n verdere enkeltestament op te stel wat later gedateer is as die gesamentlike testament. Die langslewende sal dus nie kan aandring dat die gesamentlike testament as die laaste testament aanvaar word nie.

Die een party het beslis ook nie die ander party se toestemming nodig om ’n gesamentlike testament te wysig nie. Elke party het die reg om op enige stadium ’n nuwe testament op te stel, sonder enige verpligting om die ander party daaroor in te lig. As die gesamentlike testament dus die oorledene se laaste testament is, is dit die geldige testament ten opsigte van daardie oorledene, maak nie saak of die langslewende party intussen reeds ’n ander testament opgestel het nie.

Boedelsamesmelting vind plaas wanneer die boedel van twee persone by die dood van die eerste saamgevoeg word in een boedel, hoofsaaklik met die doel om met ‘n bate te handel waarin albei partye ‘n belang hou. Normaalweg behoort daar ’n beperkte reg, soos ’n vruggebruik, op enige van die bates in die boedel ten gunste van die langslewende geskep te word. Selfs met boedelsamesmelting het die oorlewende party ná die dood van die eerssterwende die reg om die gesamentlike testament en gevolglik die samesmelting van boedelbates te aanvaar of te verwerp. Dit kom dus daarop neer dat selfs waar boedelsamesmelting in die testament bepaal word, die gesamentlike testament eintlik weinig beteken indien die langslewende na die dood van die eerssterwende die bepalings van die testament verwerp.

Die wyse waarop die skepping van samesmelting in ‘n testament bewoord word, is uiters belangrik, aangesien ‘n verkeerde woordkeuse ‘n groot impak kan hê op die hantering van polisse wat die langslewende buite die boedel toeval. Die aanvaarding of verwerping van ‘n testament waarin samesmelting geskep word, behoort ook deeglik oorweeg te word, aangesien samesmelting verskeie implikasies, soos bv. Hereregte, Skenkingsbelasting en Kapitaalwinsbelasting tot gevolg kan hê.

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies.