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Newsletter 9

Newsletter 9

Dear Colleague
Hard to believe, but we have entered the second half of 2017!  It seems as if everything is in a hurry, some plants are even blooming already.  That reminds us of C. Louis Leipoldt’s poem about the beautiful month of October.  One can almost see October approaching!
Make the most of every moment today!  Be positive, think positive and eliminate all negative thoughts from your mind as those are mostly probabilities that never happen.  Remember, everything in life is about choices.  10% is what actually happens to us and 90% is how we react to these events – choose to react positively and keep your mind under control.
It is important to return signed Wills to Legatus Trust as soon as possible for safe keeping for the following reasons:
-       The Will can be checked for validity to ensure that it has been correctly signed and witnessed.
-       In an already heartbreaking situation, we do not want the next-of-kin further burdened, not being able to find a valid, originally signed Will. 
-       If Legatus Trust does not have a signed Will in safe keeping when an estate is reported, your commission will be at risk.
-       If the signed Will is not returned and another duplicate cannot be found, there is a risk that the client’s estate can devolve intestate. Or an outdated Will may exist which does not reflect the last wishes of the deceased.
-       You will be followed up monthly with long lists of unreturned Wills until we preferably, receive the signed Will for safe keeping or otherwise be informed that a client is not taking up a Will.  This is time consuming and burdensome.
As a team, we all work together to benefit the client and to ultimately deliver a satisfactory service.
Read more in the next edition.
This aspect of a deceased estate is very important and often overlooked.  Everyone needs to consider the costs involved in a deceased estate.  Most people do not realise the financial implications of the administration of a deceased estate.
It costs money to administer an estate and no one would want their loved ones to be burdened with the additional issue of financial outlay upon death.
There is plenty that can be done to budget for the expenses in an estate while one is still alive.  The right thing is to plan now so that family and loved ones aren’t left in the lurch in an already heart-breaking time in their lives.
To budget for expenses in an estate simply means making a list of the assets and liabilities, adding and comparing.  If the assets exceed the liabilities and there are sufficient funds in the estate to settle costs and pay debts, all is well.  Should it be the other way around, provision should be made to cover the liabilities.
Don’t postpone and leave this task until it is too late.  To be responsible nόw, is to make it easier for those left behind.
Fears about executor’s fees, estate duty and taxes can be allayed by being informed.  Most of the costs involved are already known and budgeted for during one’s lifetime, for instance bond and vehicle cover.  Most debt can be provided for by credit life insurance, policies and other options that could wisely be discussed with a broker or financial advisor.  You are in the fortunate position to advise your clients on the options available to cover these costs.  Our handy calculator incorporated into our electronic Will application will serve you well in this regard.
To determine the effects of accompanying costs in an estate, it is always recommended to discuss the estate with knowledgeable and experienced people, like the personnel of Legatus Trust, who can assist you with drafting Wills for yourself and your clients or amending existing Wills.  When life takes a turn – marriage, the addition of children to the household, someone close passes away – it may have an impact on an estate.  Make sure that the Will is updated to provide for these changes, maybe an inter vivos trust set up, or whatever suits the situation best at the time.
Remember, estates are unique and not everything discussed here will be applicable to your clients’ estates or your own.  We will touch on a couple of the basics in the next edition, not as to take up too much of your time now.  Read about the costs involved in the administration of a deceased estate in the next edition in August 2017.
This is quite the bizarre story, but actually very true.               
Amelia Waite’s brush with fame dated back to the 1960’s, all because of an unusual bequest in Philip Grundy’s Will.   He was a dentist and Amelia’s boss.  She was Philip’s chief nurse and receptionist.                       
He became seriously ill and drafted a Will which would have lifelong consequences for his beloved colleague.  Amelia was to receive all of Grundy’s fortune, as he had no living relatives, but only on certain conditions.  These forbid her to marry or even socialize with men, and according to most sources, prevented her from wearing make-up or jewelry for five years as well.  The solicitor, Frank Lawton, being asked at the time – “How will you enforce that?”, he replied: “We have our ways.”
The £181,000 estate, which included other buildings and properties on Grundy Terrace, was left to Amelia.  She clearly honored the stipulations of the Will, as she died a spinster at the age of 82 in September 2007.
Until next time.
“The Legatus Times” Team

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