Weekly Thoughts 01 April 2016

I recently attended a morning’s session in Durban, titled ‘Estate Planning and Trust Workshop’. And I’ll add: ‘and anything tax and other related’. It covered Trust rulings from court cases, tax legislation, estate planning practice, wills and many other related aspects.

Usually when I am faced with a five hour workshop, I am immediately expecting to be bored and to battle to stay awake. But I had to swallow my pre-conceived expectations this time. We sat there listening to two Afrikaans professor type guys who each had half the alphabet behind their names. It is not common for speakers such as these to be as entertaining as they were, because this makes the difference in sessions like these, informative is not enough. These gents were humorous as well as interesting. It was a worthwhile morning. There was much to learn.

The most certain thing that I took away from the morning, is that in the world of estates – and the planning and winding up of them, tax legislation and trust law, nothing will necessarily stay the same. If and when SARS or Treasury or the law wishes to change anything, so will it be done. The speakers concluded many thoughts by saying that the planning and arranging of one’s estate and associated affairs only or solely for or around tax consequences, is not good enough. I agree with this thought. Often things become too complicated.