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Newsletter 4

Newsletter 4

Dear Colleague
The SONA speech is something of the past and Valentine’s Day came and went.  With time slipping through our fingers like the sand through an hour glass, a little bit of positive motivation can be useful, don’t you think?
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last.  Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”
Inspirational words by Zig Ziglar.
“The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority.  The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority.  The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.”
A.A. Milne’s wisdom.
Be motivated and inspired to think positive thoughts!
Read more on this subject in the next edition.

Everyday you come in contact with people that are in need of some guidance when it comes to the drafting of a Will.  Everyone should have a properly drafted Will and the following guidelines should prove to be helpful.

A Will is a legal document expressing one’s wishes as to how one’s estate should be liquidated and distributed. It is essential that a Will complies with the legal requirements set out in the Wills Act. Once a Will has been accepted by the Master of the High Court, the legality thereof can only be disputed in a South African Court of Law, which is a very costly process and a successful outcome is not guaranteed.

Any person 16 years or older, who is mentally capable of appreciating the nature and effects of his acts, can make a Will.

A person can have a single Will, even if he or she is married, but when married in community of property, only one’s undivided half share of the joint estate can be bequeathed and the spouse will retain his or her half share thereof. Any two persons, whether single or married, can also make a joint Will.

It is advisable to have a Will drafted by someone with a legal background and experience in Wills and estates. If a Will has already been drafted, get advice from a Wills and deceased estates specialist with regard to the legal aspects of the decisions made. The Will might contain conditions that are not feasible, enforceable or will cause grief to loved ones.  At Legatus Trust we provide these services.

In a nutshell, a properly drafted Will comprises the following:

-        It revokes all previous Wills. This will prevent a new Will from being read in conjunction with previous Wills.
-        Beneficiaries are named.
Special bequests can be made, e.g. legacies, which takes precedence over residual inheritance. The residue of an estate is whatever remains of the estate after payment of administration costs and debts as well as legacies. If an heir has not been named for the residue of an estate or provision made for heir substitution, it may result in the estate, or a portion thereof, devolving intestate.
Always provide for children, or failing them, their lawful issue by representation, even if no children are born yet.
-   Provision can be made for the protection of the heirs’ inheritances from existing and future marriages. Their inheritances will thus not form part of any joint estate.
-        A Testamentary Trust can be created for, amongst others, minor heirs. In terms of our laws, the inheritance of a child under the age of 18 years must be paid into the Guardian’s Fund. This can be prevented by creating a Testamentary Trust, which also gives an opportunity to add conditions which will benefit and protect the heirs.
-        An Executor must be named to liquidate and distribute the estate and it is essential that the Executor and Trustee, where applicable, be exempt from furnishing security. Failing exemption, a bond of security must be obtained, which will result in the estate paying an annual insurance premium based on the value of the estate until finalization thereof.
-        A guardian can be appointed for minor children, failing a natural guardian. The natural guardian of a child is the father, or failing him, the mother. This is effective even if parties are divorced, except in the case of a court order prohibiting a parent from being the guardian or granting guardianship to someone else.
-        Wishes can also be added to a Will, which is not binding as such, but which gives loved ones an indication of what is important to the deceased.  It is important, though, to discuss these wishes with those concerned beforehand, as the Will is sometimes only read after a burial took place.  For example, if cremation was chosen by the deceased, and this only becomes known after burial, the deceased wishes were not carried out properly.
In the next edition, read more on the consequences of an incorrectly signed Will.


A Book published in 1954 had the following tale to tell.  A rich man died and his household goods were auctioned off.  The only person to bid on a photograph of the dead man’s son was an elderly woman dressed in shabby clothes.  It was later revealed that she was the predeceased child’s nurse.  It was told that her charge died at an early age.  Clearly she loved the boy very much and wanted his likeness as a keepsake.  When the woman examined the photograph she had just bought at home, she noticed a bulge in the heavy paper on the back of its frame.  She made a small cut into the backing paper and pulled from the opening an envelope containing the wealthy man’s missing Will.  Said document clearly stated that his estate was to go to the one who still held dear the memory of his beloved son.  This woman’s unselfish love for the child proved to be very rewarding in the end!
“The longest ride” (2015 movie) is   based   on a novel with the same name written by Nicolas Sparks in 2013.  This story is also based on the inheritance of a fortune on buying a portrait of a deceased man’s beloved wife at an auction.  Obviously quite an inspirational story to novelists and movie makers!
Until next time.
“The Legatus Times Team

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