Estate Planning might not seem of importance at the moment, however tying up an estate is often a complicated process and certainly one that is not made any easier by dealing with the loss of a loved one.

Typically the process is overseen by an executor, who is named in the deceased’s will; this may be a family member, trusted friend, an attorney or suitably qualified accounting firm. ATF Consult Inc is one such firm that can assist with estate planning in Pretoria.

Be advised though, that if the estate is valued at R125 000 or more, the nominated executor will have to make application to carry out their duties to the Master of the High Court. In the instance the appointed executor is a layperson, the Master will require that their application be accompanied by the name of an agent, such as an accounting firm, who can provide the executor with the relevant legal and financial guidance.

In the event of a successful application, the letter of executorship granted by the Master means the executor officially has the power to wind up the deceased’s estate. The executor, in turn, grants the agent, for example ATF Consult Inc, the ‘power of attorney’ to carry out certain functions on their behalf. This professional assistance is indispensable, even in the most straightforward of estate planning cases in Pretoria.

Estate Planning and Red Tape

There will be SARS to sort out, possibly outstanding debts, as well as life assurance and short-term insurance and the lay executor will most likely not have the knowledge or resources to deal with these finer details. If there are businesses, investments or off-shore assets involved, the assistance of a professional agent is vital to ensure a thorough and efficient process. Certainly there is a lot to consider when planning who to appoint as your estate executor.

In order to minimise the stress for a spouse, family members or other beneficiaries, it is probably most prudent to appoint an agent, such as ATF Consult Inc, as full executor or as co-executor alongside a beneficiary. The selected beneficiary can then keep the family and other concerned parties informed, and maintain the best interests of the deceased, while the agent deals with the consequent paperwork and legalities. Remember, the agent is entitled to a fee for performing its duties as executor or co-executor. It is wise to negotiate this fee upfront, and set it down in the will, to avoid any conflicts or delays in tying up the estate.

ATF Consult Inc is an established accounting, tax and financial advisory firm that can either act as the executor for a deceased’s estate or as the agent on behalf of the executor for a deceased’s estate. ATF Consult Inc’s registered and experienced consultants are committed to providing its clients with superior service. If you have not already done so, contact ATF Consult Inc in Pretoria today for professional advice regarding your estate planning.

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