It’s hard to believe we’re already in the third month of the year. Most of us have by now long forgotten our January resolutions to clear all the clutter that tends to accumulate in our lives – in the house, the garage and the garden. However, although tackling those cupboards is likely to remain a long-term project, there’s no better time than the present to declutter your financial affairs. This means conducting a thorough review of your wealth structures – including trusts – and updating your most important documents.
In the face of so much uncertainty in the world today, affecting markets both globally and in South Africa, how can you best prepare from a wealth planning perspective? In our view, the most important thing you can do to ensure you’re not caught off-guard when the unpredictable happens – as it always does – is to take a long, hard look at all aspects of your assets and to simplify your wealth structures as far as possible. At the very least, it’s advisable to keep documents such as local and offshore wills and life policies updated.
How should one go about conducting a wealth structure review? The following questions will help you to decide what action to take:
Last will and testament
Have you reviewed your will over the past 12 months?
Have you acquired or disposed of any assets mentioned in your will? Have both your local and offshore wills been updated accordingly?
If you’ve taken funds offshore to invest, depending on the jurisdiction of these assets, have you ensured that you have an offshore will?
Do you have a living will?
Do you still want the beneficiaries nominated in your will to benefit, and have any of them passed away since you last updated your will?
Have you acquired immovable property offshore? If so, where applicable, have you ensured that your will is drafted to deal with your property or similar assets at your date of death?
If you have minor children, do you have nominated guardians?
When last was your trust deed reviewed to ensure that it is up to date with the most recent legislation and court cases?
Is there an independent trustee in office?
Is the administration of your trust up to date, i.e. resolutions, agreements, and minutes of trustee meetings?
Is the trust registered for tax, and are the tax affairs of the trust up to date?
Does your trust have a bank account?
Have any of the income and capital beneficiaries ceased their South African tax residency, and have the trustees considered the possible tax consequences for beneficiaries who are not ordinarily resident in South Africa?
A detailed review of your existing wealth structures will go a long way towards ensuring you have all the building blocks in place to continue your legacy. At the same time, it’s crucial that you consider both investment and trustee training for your children, especially if they will inherit an investment portfolio from your estate or will become trustees of the family discretionary trust. Equipping the next generation with the proper tools will place them in a position to further the legacy you’ve bequeathed to them.
If you need assistance in answering these questions, or in deciding on the right course of action to simplify your wealth structures and your financial affairs to ensure they’re correctly positioned for all (or at least most) eventualities, please don’t hesitate to contact us at email@example.com.
we can assist you with
The formation and registration of trusts, and the provision of independent trusteeships – both local and oﬀshore.
The creation of BEE, charitable, special and Shariah trusts compliant with regulatory and legislative requirements.
The administration of deceased estates in South Africa and abroad.
Advice on complex structures, asset restructuring and bequests in foreign jurisdictions.
Advice on emigration and immigration, foreign earnings and the application of any double taxation agreements.
Updating trust deeds to ensure they’re in line with the latest changes in the trust environment.
Updating and/or drafting of wills dealing with South African and/or foreign assets.
Advice on the establishment and management of charitable organisations, their tax status and tax deductible donations.
Advice on the potential tax consequences and reporting obligations if you hold a US passport or green card, or if you have children living in the US.
Guidance on the financial implications of life-changing events, such as getting married, divorce or the birth of a child.
Sanlam Private Wealth (Pty) Ltd, registration number 2000/023234/07, is a licensed Financial Services Provider (FSP 37473), a registered Credit Provider (NCRCP1867) and a member of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (‘SPW’).
All reasonable steps have been taken to ensure that the information on this website is accurate. The information does not constitute financial advice as contemplated in terms of FAIS. Professional financial advice should always be sought before making an investment decision.
Participation in Sanlam Private Wealth Portfolios is a medium to long-term investment. The value of portfolios is subject to fluctuation and past performance is not a guide to future performance. Calculations are based on a lump sum investment with gross income reinvested on the ex-dividend date. The net of fee calculation assumes a 1.15% annual management charge and total trading costs of 1% (both inclusive of VAT) on the actual portfolio turnover. Actual investment performance will differ based on the fees applicable, the actual investment date and the date of reinvestment of income. A schedule of fees and maximum commissions is available upon request.
COLLECTIVE INVESTMENT SCHEMES
The Sanlam Group is a full member of the Association for Savings and Investment SA. Collective investment schemes are generally medium to long-term investments. Past performance is not a guide to future performance, and the value of investments / units / unit trusts may go down as well as up. A schedule of fees and charges and maximum commissions is available on request from the manager, Sanlam Collective Investments (RF) Pty Ltd, a registered and approved manager in collective investment schemes in securities (‘Manager’).
Collective investments are traded at ruling prices and can engage in borrowing and scrip lending. The manager does not provide any guarantee either with respect to the capital or the return of a portfolio. Collective investments are calculated on a net asset value basis, which is the total market value of all assets in a portfolio including any income accruals and less any deductible expenses such as audit fees, brokerage and service fees. Actual investment performance of a portfolio and an investor will differ depending on the initial fees applicable, the actual investment date, date of reinvestment of income and dividend withholding tax. Forward pricing is used.
The performance of portfolios depend on the underlying assets and variable market factors. Performance is based on NAV to NAV calculations with income reinvestments done on the ex-dividend date. Portfolios may invest in other unit trusts which levy their own fees and may result is a higher fee structure for Sanlam Private Wealth’s portfolios.
All portfolio options presented are approved collective investment schemes in terms of Collective Investment Schemes Control Act, No. 45 of 2002. Funds may from time to time invest in foreign countries and may have risks regarding liquidity, the repatriation of funds, political and macroeconomic situations, foreign exchange, tax, settlement, and the availability of information. The manager may close any portfolio to new investors in order to ensure efficient management according to applicable mandates.
The management of portfolios may be outsourced to financial services providers authorised in terms of FAIS.
TREATING CUSTOMERS FAIRLY (TCF)
As a business, Sanlam Private Wealth is committed to the principles of TCF, practicing a specific business philosophy that is based on client-centricity and treating customers fairly. Clients can be confident that TCF is central to what Sanlam Private Wealth does and can be reassured that Sanlam Private Wealth has a holistic wealth management product offering that is tailored to clients’ needs, and service that is of a professional standard.