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Newletter 44

Newletter 44

Dear Colleague
“The days of spring are here! Warm sunny days are near!
Flowers and bees, birds in the trees.
The days of spring are here!”

President Ramaphosa announced the move to level 1 of the Covid-lockdown, which started on Monday 21 September 2020. The negative impact of the restrictions enforced because of this invisible attacker, took a heavy toll on virtually the whole world’s population. The loss of life is tragic, and the effect it has on the world’s economy, including South Africa’s already ailing economy, is immense.

For countless people, life is still far from the “normal” everyone was used to before. For some, their circumstances have changed drastically. After six months of lockdown and new innovative ways of working, others may have become used to a new type of normal. But many may still feel overwhelmed by the effect of it all.

Encouraging, though, is an ability that everyone has - the ability to influence your own reality. This comes in the form of a gift - the gift of choice, in which lies great power. Often the choice can be difficult, but there is always the option to react positively in the face of hardships and under strenuous circumstances. That which your energy is awarded to, will be your ultimate reality. Choosing nót to allow thoughts to dwell on the negatives will contribute to a peaceful reality. Besides, overwhelming feelings often come because focus is placed on a time that is not the present.
So, if you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours!
A smile goes a long way!

Time for an update on the front runners in the Legatus competition which will end on 30 November 2020:
In no specific order: Musandiwa Sibara, Altha Stiehler, Craig Adams.
Still three months to go to collect points to knock one of them from the podium.  Remember that you can collect points by returning new signed Wills for safekeeping and executor’s fees banked on estates and power of attorney-estates during the competition period.

Read more about this in the next edition
A minor child is someone under the age of 18 years.  South African law determines that minor children cannot enter into contracts without the consent of their legal guardian.  A legal guardian can be either a parent or a court appointed guardian.  When a child reaches the age of 18 years, they cease to be a minor.  This limit underage children to inherit assets while they are still minors.  The dilemma with assets for children who are underage is who will look after and manage the assets which they stand to inherit.
The most effective way to protect the inheritance of minors, is to set up a trust. This can be done by creating an inter vivos trust while still alive, or a testamentary trust, also known as a mortis causa trust, established in terms of a Will.  The process for establishing these trusts may differ slightly, but the outcome is still the same:  Ultimately the goal is to enable the appointed trustees to administer the minors’ inheritance to their best interests.
A trust can own property, receive donations and inherit money from an estate.  By planning and providing for a trust to protect the interests of the minors, decisions are taken by the appointed trustees.  Choosing trustees should therefore be considered carefully.  However, the actions of the trustees are also regulated by law and they are required to always act in the best interests of the beneficiaries.  The trust must be managed in accordance with the law and the provisions of the trust deed, which can be defined by the benefactor.
Some people think a testamentary trust is not necessary and would argue that they trust their family to look after their children and to do the right thing.  History has proven time and time again that many a head has been turned when money is involved.  It is dangerous not to provide for a trust for minors whom stand to inherit from an estate.  This is regulated by law and no intervention of family members can change that.  If no provision for a trust is made, the inheritance will be paid over to the government’s Guardian’s Fund which falls under the administration of the Master of the High Courts.  The Guardian’s Fund administers funds which are paid into their account.  In very rare instances will they accept assets because it would be very difficult for them to manage assets.  Therefore, assets are mostly sold and converted into cash. 
Guardians of minors can claim maintenance, medical fees, lodging and any other costs which can be motivated by the guardian.  This can be a time-consuming endeavour however, and dependent on the availability of officials that must deal with numerous claims.   The advantage of creating a trust is that it provides for trustees to be appointed who are directly responsible for the wellbeing of the beneficiaries and have their interests foremost in mind.
The option of trusts and trustees should be discussed when estate planning is done or reviewed.
Legatus Trust manages testamentary trusts by Will as nominated trustee, co-trustee or agent for the trustee only.  Legatus Trust in general no longer cater for inter vivos trusts and will only consider the creation and administration of inter vivos trusts on a case by case basis.
Main sources:

As an American super-patriot, Soloman Sanborn of Medford, was very proud of the part that his state of Massachusetts played in the Revolutionary war in the 1700’s.
To enforce this pride of his, he stipulated that his skin be tanned and used to make two drumheads. The one had to be inscribed by the Declaration of independence and the other with the Pope’s Universal Prayer. 
The drums were to be given to a friend who was a local drummer.  The condition was that he had to promise to go to Bunker Hill at dawn on every year on the 17th of June and drum out the tune to “Yankee Doodle Dandy” to celebrate the anniversary of the famous revolutionary battle.
He donated the rest of his body to be turned into fertilizer to contribute to the growth of an American elm, to be planted in some rural access road.
Quite the passionate guy!
Until next time.
“The Legatus Times” Team

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