Wills and trusts: important estate planning tools

Making sure you have a valid, executable will is arguably the most important way to ensure your assets are distributed as you intend after your death. Another estate-planning tool that is often used to protect assets both during and after your lifetime is a trust. However, the drafting process is often misunderstood, mostly because of a lack of adequate information or failure to adhere to legal requirements.

As the famous saying goes ‘when we know better, we do better’. That’s why it is so important to ensure you keep your adviser informed about all the aspects of your life that will affect your finances, now and in the future, so we can consider these when drawing up wills and setting up new trusts. For more information on choosing the right trust, read our article:Choosing the right trust – inter vivos or testamentary trust?

What makes your will valid?

It is important to have a valid will to ensure that your wishes are carried out after your death and your loved ones benefit from your estate. Please read our previous article The importance of having a valid updated will.


The role of trusts in estate planning

Trusts can be complex. However, they remain an effective estate-planning tool, especially when you are looking to ensure intergenerational transfer of your wealth. When your wealth is held in a fully discretionary trust, it allows for flexibility, continuity of assets on your death, ease of transfer of wealth, and protection of vulnerable family members.


The careful structuring of such documents helps prevent future financial or legal complications


Establishing an inter vivos trust during your lifetime and transferring the ownership of assets to this trust (during your lifetime) means that your wealth is protected while you are still alive and ensures that your beneficiaries benefit after you pass away.


Overall benefits of having a will and / or a trust

We all work hard and strive to make money so we can live a comfortable life. Ultimately, we also want to provide the same comfort for our loved ones. Trusts and wills become your voice after you pass away, ensuring that your wealth devolves as you intend. It is therefore important to plan and make financial decisions for both during and after your lifetime. 


Estate planning webinar

We recently hosted a webinar where Gugulethu Mfuphi, award-winning speaker and presenter of the Kaya Bizz radio show, facilitated a panel discussion about the importance of estate planning and why you need it to avoid financial disasters for your loved ones.

During the discussion, panel members Tracy Muller, Head of Fiduciary Advice at Nedbank Wealth Management (SA), Nikki Bush, speaker, author and human potential expert, Lesego Vilakazi, Manager of Wills Drafting at Nedgroup Trust, Portia Khoabane, Regional Head for Gauteng at Nedbank Wealth Management (SA) and Moeketsie Mooko, Head of Estates (Gauteng) at Nedgroup Trust, shared their insights into various aspects of the estate planning process, such as the drafting of wills and trusts, and how the careful structuring of such documents helps prevent future financial or legal complications.

Watch the webinar.

Want to know more about wills and trusts?