By making the right choice of beneficiary in your will, you can save your loved ones huge sums of money when your estate gets wrapped up after you pass away.
If your estate is worth more than R3.5 million when you die, a high percentage of estate duty will have to be paid before your money and assets can be released to your beneficiaries. This means that your loved ones may be left with less than you had hoped for or intended. So how can you save money on these fees?
The first, and most important, thing is to make sure that you have a valid, up-to-date will. Without a will, your estate will fall under the Intestate Succession Act, which is legislation that determines how your assets will get divided between your surviving spouse, children, parents or siblings according to a set formula. This can also delay the winding up of your estate and incur significant estate costs.
Then, when making your will, you should choose your spouse as the primary beneficiary of your estate. If your spouse is the main beneficiary, everything they inherit will be exempt from estate duty and capital gains tax, which could amount to a huge saving.
Your primary rebate from estate duty on the first R3.5 million of your estate would also roll over to them, and, when they die, their estate would then have a R7 million deduction before any estate duty is payable.
Estimating how much your estate is worth and how much will be due in estate fees can be a complex calculation, which is why SmartWill has developed the SmartCalculator tool to work this out for its clients. The SmartCalculator provides a clear picture of what your loved ones can anticipate and how much you can save by adding your spouse as your primary beneficiary.
SmartWill has also developed a unique life insurance product, SmartCover, to cover the cost of your estimated estate duty. Clients can opt to take this cover out as an added way to gain peace of mind that their beneficiaries will get as much as possible from their estate when they pass away. Click here to sign up for SmartWill and get access to SmartCover.