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Newsletter 14

Newsletter 14

Dear Colleague
Welcome back to those fortunate enough to have had a December break!  We hope everyone is well-rested and ready for all the challenges this new year presents.  May 2018 be a wonderful year, despite all the negative things one hears about every day.
Let us stick to the positive side of life.  There is always something to be thankful for.  Guard your eyes and ears against negative input; what you look at and allows into your mind.  What consumes your mind, controls your life, like we said before.  Therefore, choose to fill it with positive thoughts.  Control your mind, do not let your mind control you; a task that requires constant and rigorous effort, as well as strict discipline.
The winding up of an estate can sometimes turn into a time-consuming endeavour, taking months or even years to conclude because of delays that can arise during any part of the process.  In the next edition we will concentrate on some of these.
…..  Read more in the upcoming edition!

For some people it seems like the easiest option to appoint a family member as an Executor. While it is common practice to do so, one should be aware of the possible implications. Family members may struggle with emotional involvement getting in the way, thus preventing them from effectively administering the estate. Since family members being appointed are often not qualified enough to handle the process on their own, they will in most cases be requested by the Master of the High Court to approach a trust company, a financial institution, attorney or chartered accountant to assist them with the administration of the estate and to act as their agent. In cases like this it will be necessary to give the agent power of attorney before they will be able to proceed.  This will delay the actual administration of the estate.
There are other problems that can arise when appointing a private Executor:
  • The nominated Executor may renounce his nomination as Executor resulting in the heirs having to nominate a further Executor, which could delay the process even further.
  • The nominated Executor may pass away before the client does.
  • The nominated Executor can be refused by the Master of the High Court should he/she be mentally incapable or formerly insolvent.
  • There is also the possibility that the beneficiaries may think that a family member as Executor can unduly benefit from the estate and lengthy family feuds can arise.
It is therefore advisable to have a back-up plan in case this should happen.
Legatus Trust is a well-respected authority on the drafting of Wills and rendering fiduciary services throughout South Africa and offer more consistency and security than a private Executor.  If the appointed Executor passes away or resigns, another one can immediately be appointed by the firm without having to delay the process.  It also provides peace of mind, knowing that qualified personnel are in charge.
An unqualified and inexperienced person thrown into the deep – even when it might be a very trusted family member – is likely to result in confusion and potential disaster.  Rather make use of Legatus Trust’s services as an experienced and qualified Executor who can give the best possible advice and guidance.  Legatus Trust also does not get involved in family feuds and stands on neutral ground.

Harry Houdini is a rather famous name and most people have heard about this magician and escape artist.  Born in 1874, he was considered the greatest of his era and possibly of all time. He died in 1926 from a ruptured appendix and left his magician's equipment to his brother Theodore, his former partner who performed under the name Hardeen.
He had a library of books on magic and the occult which was offered to the American Society for Psychical Research on the condition that J. Malcolm Bird, research officer and editor of the ASPR Journal, resign.  Bird refused and the collection went instead to the Library of Congress.
The rabbits he pulled out of his hat went to the children of friends.  Houdini left his wife a secret code – ten words chosen at random – that he would use to contact her from the afterlife.  Although his wife held annual séances on Halloween for ten years after his death, Houdini never appeared.
Until next time!
“The Legatus Times” Team

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