We promise all our exclusive clients total transparency, a collaborative approach to their estate planning and a fierce commitment to quality advice and world-class administration. This, coupled with a strong culture of accountability is what sets Cornerstone Fiduciary Services apart from its competitors. Beyond the implicit legal obligations that come with fiduciary duties; honesty, integrity and faithful execution are key to ensuring that financial legacies are protected at all costs.

Our diverse team offers support and guidance while respecting all cultural, generational and religious aspects of estate planning. We are the modern and preferred estate planning and fiduciary services solution for high-net-worth individuals from top South African entrepreneurs to 30-something professionals just starting on their wealth journeys.

The Importance of Drafting a Will

A will is one of the most important documents that you can create because it ensures that your final wishes are fulfilled and executed correctly after your passing. A will contains instructions for your loved ones around your wishes regarding your assets (e.g. house, property, money in the bank, savings or investments). More specifically, a will describes who should receive which assets or specifies the amounts of funds to be dispersed.

Making sure that your will is professionally drafted is equally important. A will containing confusing or unclear instructions can lead to challenges and legal action from people who may feel that they are not getting what they should. This may result in increased costs for your estate in terms of any potentially unnecessary legal fees, estate duty or income tax.

Your will is one of the cornerstones of your financial and estate planning. Often, individuals will have sufficient life, death, disability and other risk covers in place – but no proper instruction on how to deal with the funds from these products when they payout. Such provisions include, for example, setting up a testamentary trust for minor children and having the life insurance paid into the trust for their education and well-being.

Composing your last will and testament requires tact, comprehension, and empathy. At Cornerstone, we understand the need to maintain an up-to-date will, outlining your desires and wishes and planning to preserve your memory for posterity. Your family will always remember you, grateful for having taken the time to let them know just how much they mean to you.

Our Legal Fiduciary Duty To You

Our commitment to you – unfaltering trust in our legal duty to all of our clients

Decades of experience coupled with years of continuous education has made us specialists in the administration of deceased estates. We understand the process behind, and interrelation between, the legislated framework of the Will, the Intestate Succession and your estate. We also work with the deceased’s heirs and business partners to identify and resolve those unintended consequences or obstacles that can arise.

We continually work on improving our solutions in collaboration with the institutions involved in the administration process, such as SARS, the Master of the High Court and other financial institutions. Furthermore, our executors make sure that beneficiaries, creditors, debtors and other parties are kept apprised of the process from beginning to end.

Why should fiduciary services be held to a higher standard?

When it comes time to execute your estate plan under fiduciary administration, you want to know that your affairs are being carried out by a capable specialist who understands the importance of the task at hand. The frequent mayhem that stems from botched wills, poorly executed instructions and incorrectly managed estates can devastate grieving families and even lead to disrupted business operations.

Specialised Fiduciary Support when you need it most

Send a legal professional to the first meeting to read the Will and explain the content to the heirs and business partners in need.

Explain the process, timeframes and how the various assets in the estate are dealt with as not all assets can be dealt with by the executor solely.

Settle the estate debt and claims in favour of or against the estate. Collect all relevant information and documentation to report the matter to the Master of the High Court to obtain Letters of Executorship as soon as possible.

Ensure compliance with all legal, accounting and taxation frameworks and that all business interests are managed as needed.

Completion and submission of the deceased person’s income tax both up to date of death and post-death.

Identify, trace and validate all assets and liabilities in the estate (local and international).

Once in a legal position to do so, distribute the estate by transferring assets, paying legacies and the residue as per the approved estate account.

Obtain final clearance from SARS and the Master of the High Court.