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News Article : Circle Of Life
Category: Estates & Wills : Estate Planning
Author:Vanya Terblanche
Email:[email protected]
Posted:10 Aug 2010

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It is often said that the only certainties in life are death and taxes

If this is true, then we are dealing with a vast number of uncertainties, aren't we?

Birth signifies the start of the circle of life, and throughout this circle we are inundated with options and choices. We have choices on education and career, on partners and on planning.

In fact, where we end up is a direct result of the choices we make, and the impact of our decisions is usually extended to our loved ones.

Nowhere is this more pertinent than within the financial environment.

Plans need to be put in place, and it would be irresponsible to ignore the knowledge and expertise of credible professionals  while designing our plans. Estate Planners and Financial Advisors are geared to fulfil this role.

As employees, we have decisions to make on our own retirement funds, and as trustees we have decisions to make on the retirement funds of others.

The impact of these decisions extends to the loved ones of others, placing a significant fiduciary duty on decision-makers.

As individuals, we have decisions to make on our personal estates, and how this should devolve upon our demise.

We also have the opportunity to ensure that the people who look up to us for guidance, are assisted in their decisions.

It all starts with a plan - a plan for every stage of the circle of life.

This involves planning for the needs of our children, planning to create wealth, planning to preserve wealth, planning for our retirement and planning for the well-being of our loved ones - during our lifetime and thereafter.

Key questions we should answer on a regular basis:

  • Do I have a flexible, tailor-made estate plan?
  • Do I have a will and is it up to date?
  • Do I have a sound financial plan?
  • Did I nominate the beneficiaries for my retirement fund?
  • Am I as a trustee satisfied that I am supported by the best service providers such as Investment Managers, Consultants, Administrators and Beneficiary Funds?

Through proper planning and by making the correct choices, we can negate many of the uncertainties within the circle of life.

Vanya Terblanche is National Manager: Employee Benefit Trusts, Beneficiary Funds, Will Services and Product Development at Absa

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