During the process of planning your estate you will encounter the following terms:

Last will and testament

A carefully structured and written Last Will and Testament can meet many of the estate planner’s goals – including reducing estate duty liability, providing for dependents, and achieving the efficient administration of his deceased estate.


A trust is an arrangement that allows someone to hold assets (without owning them) for the benefit of the trust beneficiaries. The key element of the trust arrangement is the transfer of ownership and control of the trust assets from the donor or founder to one or more trustees who hold the trust assets not in their personal capacities, but for the benefit of the trust beneficiaries.


A donation is a gift given by physical or legal persons, typically for charitable purposes and/or to benefit a cause. A donation may take various forms, including cash offering, services, new or used goods including clothing, toys, food, and vehicles. It also may consist of emergency, relief or humanitarian aid items, development aid support, and can also relate to medical care needs as i.e. blood or organs for transplant. Charitable gifts of goods or services are also called gifts in kind.

Marital Contract

This is a contract drawn up at the time of your marriage. You either married ‘In community of Property” or “Out of Community of Property” which is established in an anti-nuptial contract.

Assurance policies

Life insurance (or life assurance, is a contract between an insurance policy holder and an insurer or assurer, where the insurer promises to pay a designated beneficiary a sum of money (the benefit) in exchange for a premium, upon the death of an insured person (often the policy holder) …

Foreign assets

These are assets in the form of cash, investments, properties and shares that exist outside of South Africa.

Business succession planning

A business succession plan can help you make important decisions about ownership, maximizing your company’s value and tax strategies. A plan should touch on some of the following areas: Goals and objectives. Develop a vision for the business. Determine your retirement or post business ownership goals. This should also include plans as to who takes over the business in the event of your death.

Estate Duty

Estate duty is a tax on the total market value of a person’s assets (cash and non-cash) at the date of his or her death. It does not matter if the person has a will or not, the assets are still subject to estate duty. The deceased person’s assets, as a whole, are called an estate.

Capital Gains Tax

A capital gains tax (CGT) is a tax on capital gains, the profit realized on the sale of a non-inventory asset that was purchased at a cost amount that was lower than the amount realized on the sale. The most common capital gains are realized from the sale of stocks, bonds, precious metals and property.

Transfer Duty

Transfer Duty is a tax levied on the value of any property acquired by any person by way of a transaction or in any other way

Living Will

A written statement detailing a person’s desires regarding their medical treatment in circumstances in which they are no longer able to express informed consent, especially an advance directive.