Estate Planning and Handling

Estate Planning and Handling Best Left To a Legal Specialist

Abraham Lincoln is credited with a phrase that has since gained the status of a proverb. The 16th president of the United States is said to have uttered words to the effect that any man who acts as his own lawyer has a fool for a client. The comment was, of course, intended to cast doubts upon the wisdom of such a decision, given the complexities of the law, rather than to imply diminished intellect. Almost everyone is likely to concur with “honest Abe’s” sentiment and be only too happy to accept legal counsel if faced with a serious criminal charge. However, when it comes to estate planning and handling, a significant number of individuals are inclined to believe that they are competent to manage this equally critical task in person.

We live in an age in which vast volumes of information on every imaginable topic is freely available to anyone who has access to a personal computer and an internet connection. Much of that information is accurate and of direct value to an enquirer, while some is less so. Unfortunately, a significant quantity of online data can also be misleading and even totally erroneous.

Legal advice is considered by many to be unduly expensive and, to address their needs, a number of companies are now providing legal self-help facilities via their websites. The services consist largely of legal forms for every conceivable purpose, including estate planning and handling, which may be purchased and downloaded together with guidelines on how to complete them. In the Unites States, this document download service has grown into a multi-million dollar business.

However, although the material sold by these online providers is authentic, the sellers are under no obligation to take any further steps to ensure that these products and any instructions that may accompany them are utilised correctly or that the purchaser will succeed in achieving his or her desired outcome. In practice, whatever the need, and especially in legal matters, the best way to save money is often to retain the services of a professional.

If you wish to make adequate provision for the ongoing needs of your family in the event of your death and to ensure that your legacy will grow in value and not be eroded by death duties and taxes, seeking professional help with the planning and handling of your estate is, without doubt, the more sensible option. It is important, however, to entrust this crucial and exacting task to a firm that specialises in this particular aspect of South African law and that is also able to provide the services of qualified and experienced financial advisers.

Death is a subject that few people care to dwell upon and most only draw up a will late in life when they start to become more aware of their mortality. Circumstances change, however, and a simple will alone, however, may fail to provide all the security for your family that you intended. With professional planning by a team of legal and financial experts and efficient handling, such as that offered by Secure Legacy, the proceeds of your estate could secure the lives of your loved ones indefinitely. Don’t leave it too late; the time to protect them is now.