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Estate Planning is a Must

When looking to secure your family’s inheritance, establishing a trust could mean significant savings.

Bryan Hirsch

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Advocate Tony Davey is one of my colleagues who regularly previews my articles and is often heard to quote “…One takes a lifetime to build an estate, but how much time does one take to protect it?” In a previous article, I briefly mentioned that setting up an Intervivos Trust could help to reduce death duties in the future.

Minimising estate duty is not really complex and there are several options available to you. The level of estate duty in South Africa currently stands at 20%, which is much lower than other countries that impose tax on death. Estate duty may not yield large amounts of revenue and, in the last budget, the minister announced that estate duty may be revisited or even abolished. At this stage it remains unchanged and no further information has been provided in the latest budget notes.

It’s never too late

Currently, upon death, assets left to a spouse are exempt from any duty. This is really only a deferment of payment because, once children inherit the assets, on the death of the remaining parent, duty is payable once lawful deductions have been made.

When children inherit they will receive a total of R7 million free of death duties. Previously each individual spouse only received a maximum entitlement of R3,5 million and some estate planners argue that it is no longer necessary to set up elaborate trust structures to deal with anything less than this amount. I disagree with this view because the future growth of these assets is being overlooked. The transfer of assets to a trust ensured that both spouses used their R3,5 million deduction. Now the unused amount will be available for the second deceased.

To illustrate this further:
A spouse inherits R3,5 million in a share portfolio but already has assets in excess of this figure. Over the next 15 years these assets grow to approximately R14 million (10% compound). The increase in the inherited assets is R10,5 million and, at current rates of duty, the estate would be liable for R2,1 million. If this amount had originally been left to a trust, R2,1 million would have been saved! One argument put forward is that the deductions are likely to increase over the years, but I have used a conservative rate of return and assumed that the current rate of estate duty will apply. In Europe, the UK and the USA rates vary between 33,3% and 55%.

I often meet individuals who have formed a trust but never transferred any assets into it. Assets that should go into a trust are growth assets such as equities, unit trusts, linked endowment policies and shares in private companies. I do not recommend transferring investment properties into a trust, because of the transfer fees involved, and certainly not your primary residence because you will lose the gain of R1,5 million allowed as an abatement for Capital Gains Tax (CGT) purposes. Other than estate planning, there are many other reasons for using a trust, but I will discuss these in a future article. Fortuitously, there is no better time for considering the transfer of equities, including unit trusts, because values are substantially lower. You will have to pay 0,25% tax if you transfer from your personal name into a Trust. This cost is insignificant when compared to paying estate duty. You will also have to pay CGT, but this tax is always inherent in the value of your assets and is payable whenever an asset is sold. There are a few other ways to reduce estate duty.

Maximising reductions

1. Donations. Everyone is entitled to donate R100 000 annually free of donations tax and too few people make use of this concession. Married couples who donate R200 000 a year to their children for 10 years, will save over R700 000. Over 20 years, they will save R2,5 million in death duties (investment return 10% per annum compounded).

2. Trusts. Create an Intervivos Trust during your lifetime and allow the growth to accumulate outside your estate. In my opinion, fears that trusts may be outlawed sometime in the future are unfounded as trust law has been around for over 1 000 years, since the Crusades. During your lifetime, you may not be saving anything yourself by using these options, but you will benefit your heirs. Not only will you have created an estate but also protected it. Prior to embarking on any of the suggestions made herein – and with special reference to those planning to emigrate – it is essential to consult with qualified professionals in this field.

BRYAN HIRSCH has been in the financial services industry for 47 years and is a director of Bryan Hirsch Colley & Associates. He has written two books, the first Bryan Hirsch’s Guide to Personal Finance and more recently, Steps to Financial Freedom. Bryan has written for many of South Africa’s top financial and business publications, has been a weekly guest on Radio SAFM for 18 years, and has his own weekly TV show You & Your Money on Summit TV.

Personal Finance

6 Ways To Develop A Millionaire Mindset

Chasing money has remarkably little to do with getting rich.

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If you truly want to have a million dollars, you must first be and think like a millionaire. By doing so, you will attract the necessary resources to you.

So, you want to become a millionaire entrepreneur? You’re not alone. Many dream of leaving their job and becoming their own boss, enjoying the various millionaire lifestyles we watch on TV. But there’s a difference between those who dream of becoming millionaires and those who do. And it begins and ends with mindset. If you don’t develop that mindset, you will continue to spin your wheels, working just as hard, but never going anywhere.

Developing a millionaire mindset requires you to stretch your thinking. Start by developing the following six attributes.

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Personal Finance

4 Ways To Become A Millionaire Even When You Start With Little

It costs nothing to take advantage of the limitless opportunities online.

Timothy Sykes

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The hardest part of becoming successful is getting started to begin with. But despite the challenges ahead of you, there’s a way to become a millionaire when starting with little. I’m going to show you four reasons why you can become a millionaire with just a small investment.

1. First focus on learning, not big gain

Education is your greatest weapon. Focus on learning in the beginning. Don’t make the mistake of focusing on making huge gains in the beginning. Learn everything you can because this is how you build the foundations for long-term gains.

Related: 21 Choices Millionaires Make That You Aren’t Making But Should Be

They say that if a millionaire goes bankrupt they’ll nearly always be able to get it back. And that’s because they might have lost their money, but they have the knowledge of how to get back to where they need to be.

2. You can learn loads about any topic online

online-learning

I’m grateful for the internet. It’s the single biggest library in the world. You’re reading this article right now and you’re acquiring knowledge you wouldn’t have been able to acquire 40 years ago.

Use the internet to its fullest extent, whether that’s through reading books, browsing articles or watching video tutorials. Set some time aside every day to learn something online. It could be a video series or a favorite blog.

When you get into the habit of learning regularly you’ll find that you advance much faster.

3. Focus on the niche you love

These days you can learn about anything and target the niche you’re passionate about.

This is what I was able to do with penny stocks. I found a gap in the market and provided knowledge to people who wouldn’t have otherwise being able to access this sort of information.

You can do that with absolutely any niche. When you find a niche you’re passionate about and you use the reach of the Internet you start to make huge gains.

4. Prove your expertise by creating free content

Your reputation as an authority is the new business card. There’s a reason I created a penny stock guide and made it free for all. You may have already seen ads for it on social media. The way to succeed with little is to create a reputation through your content.

Related: How To Become A Millionaire, Explained In 1 Minute

It’s the gateway to success because through free content you start to build relationships with others who value your work. And from there everyone gets richer.

You can do lots with a little

The days when you needed a huge investment to become successful are long gone. These days you can do so much with just a little. Find what you love, advance your knowledge in that area, and create a product that fulfills a need. Finally, work on building up relationships through portraying yourself as an authority on your subject.

Combine everything together and you can accomplish anything.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.


Related: 13 Habits Of Self-Made Millionaires You Could Adopt Today

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Personal Finance

10 Tips To Become A Millionaire This Year

Becoming a millionaire requires changing your mindset and implementing some changes.

Murray Newlands

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Becoming a millionaire may seem out of your reach, but it’s possible with the right attitude and guidance. The fact of the matter is your income can only grow as quickly as you do, so you need to change your mindset to achieve your goal of becoming a millionaire.

Once you have a millionaire mind, you can’t lose it, no matter what financial or business mistakes you make along the way. To get yourself there, you’re going to need some structure. To help you, I’ve outlined the top ten tips you should follow to become a millionaire this year.

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