We spend a lifetime developing a financial estate but, somehow, never find time to ensure that the assets built up are free from estate duty which, in South Africa, is based on your worldwide assets. However, this does not mean that you cannot plan accordingly.
Regardless of where your assets are invested, whether onshore or offshore, they will form part of your overall estate. In the last two budgets, comments have been made that estate duty may need to be reviewed. This does not decrease the need for serious estate planning.
Estate planning always involves weighing up various priorities and needs:
- How much would you like to leave to your spouse? Importantly, anything which accrues to the surviving spouse is exempt from estate duty.
- How much would you like to leave to your children, or other individuals, and when?
- How important is it for you to avoid paying estate duty? Currently this is 20% of any assets in excess of R3,5 million per spouse, in addition to assets bequeathed to a spouse, which are effectively exempt.
Growth Through Trusts
It’s so easy for spouses to just leave everything to each other. However, you need to understand that, by so doing, there is the worry that the widow/widower could remarry and bequeath the remainder of the estate to a new spouse, resulting in the children losing out. A recognised method of protecting the children’s inheritance, whilst simultaneously providing for the remaining spouse, is to bequeath your assets to the children if majors, or alternatively, to a trust, if minors. In the case of minors, for their benefit at age 25 or 30 for example. Then you would often leave assets to a trust, but provide the surviving spouse with a life usufruct. In this event the value of the usufruct must be calculated, as this is exempt from any estate duty payable.
When reviewing an individual’s financial plan, in which the Will forms an integral part, I frequently observe that spouses have planned their estate by using a trust, but only upon their death. I have difficulty in understanding the reasoning behind this because, if you intend to have assets transferred into a trust upon your death, surely it makes sense that some of these growth assets be transferred during your lifetime. This ensures that the growth is captured in the trust and avoids the growth attracting estate duty upon death.
A further estate duty saving mechanism is to make an annual donation of R100 000 into the same trust, without attracting any donations tax, and investments in the trust. All growth will avoid any further estate duty.
Consider the Options
These questions need to be answered:
- What percentage of your estate should be bequeathed outright to the surviving spouse?
- What percentage should go to children and to the trust? The answer depends on the size of the estate and what percentage the deceased spouse wants the survivor to inherit outright.
In my opinion it’s always good to ensure the independence of a surviving spouse and children, and this can be achieved by leaving some capital to the spouse, free from trustee control, and leaving some to the children, who are then independent of the remaining parent’s longevity. This gives all the family a degree of financial independence. So often one sees large assets held within a trust and yet the family are unable to make use of any of the capital. This suggested course will ensure everyone has some financial self-sufficiency, and the bulk of the monies is preserved in the trust for future generations. Spouses need to weigh their desire to pay as little estate duty as possible against achieving all their other important objectives.
10 Tips To Become A Millionaire This Year
Becoming a millionaire requires changing your mindset and implementing some changes.
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.
If You Think These 5 Things, You’ll Never Get Rich By The Time You’re 30
Five common mistakes entrepreneurs make when starting a business and how to correct them.
Last week, I had lunch with a millennial who wanted some advice about a business he’s starting. After the usual small talk, we got down to discussing his business plan. Within a short time, it was clear that his business idea was great, his plan for executing was fairly solid and he had gathered together a strong team to help him make it happen.
So far, so good. But, to be frank, this guy has no chance of being successful with his current mentality. What it takes to be rich (or successful in any measure) has a lot more to do with your mindset than your ideas and plans.
From the time we started in business at the ripe ages of six and seven, our Grandpa Joe taught my brother Matthew and me many lessons about the details of running a profitable business. Over the years, we learned about how to create a business plan; how to market our products and services; and how to take care of customers, vendors and employees. All this knowledge has been invaluable to us in creating and running successful businesses. But, what our grandfather taught us about attitude and mindset trumps all other lessons.
Without calling out the specific individual I spoke with recently, below are five “hypothetical” attitudes that will get you nowhere in your journey to success – and the attitudes that should replace them.
5 Habits That Lead To Millionaire Business Success
You need the right habits if you’re going to succeed.
What do all millionaire businesspeople have in common? Well, a lot of things.
I found from a recent study that 80 percent of all millionaires still go to work every single day. They’re working people just like me. But, they have to keep themselves in work or it all grinds to a halt. So what are the habits you need to make your business a success?
Nothing is ever going to come easy. You can look at the likes of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, as well as the other usual suspects, to realize that success didn’t come with their first venture. Many of them failed time and time again. It took patience for them to become successful.
I read an article recently about 36-year-old teacher Andrew Hallam who became a self-made millionaire on a teaching salary. But, in his spare time he invested smart and lived frugally.
It proves you don’t have to inherit lots of money or become an instant success to make a millionaire business.
You have to be dedicated to your craft if you’re going to become successful. Going back to Bill Gates again, he started his business in the back of his garage. Now that’s dedication.
It’s what I tell all my students. If they’re not dedicated to this, then they should leave. You need to be able to push through the barren periods if you’re going to reach the oasis of success.
3. Ambition and big dreams
Have you ever heard the quote, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you’ll land among the stars”?
I take that to heart because even if you aim to become a billionaire and miss you still might be a millionaire many times over. Take the Wright Brothers as an example. Not content with creating a successful glider in 1902 they went on to create the world’s first airplane in 1903, making four brief flights in Kitty Hawk. It demonstrates the importance of dreaming big because you never know what you might achieve.
4. Learn from mistakes
Every good businessperson will mess something up. It’s inevitable. What’s important is how you learn from your mistakes over time. Do you adapt after making your mistakes?
Millionaire businesspeople always set some time aside to reflect. Then they create a plan of action for ensuring that it doesn’t happen again. Most failed businesspeople put it down to “bad luck.”
5. Focus on niches
This important! Try to take over a whole industry at once and you’ll inevitably get swallowed up by the competition. Start small and control your own niche before moving into another niche. When you master your small area, you can push on and expand.
You’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to expand after you master your own niche/audience first.
Do you have what it takes? That’s the question I always ask novice businesspeople. You need a plan and you need the right habits if you’re going to succeed.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
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