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■■ An ‘estate’ comprises the assets and liabilities that an estate planner
    accumulates during his lifetime, and which he leaves behind at his death.

■■ ‘Estate planning’ has been defined as the process of creating and managing
    a programme that is designed to:
    ◆◆ Preserve, increase and protect an estate planner’s assets during his
    ◆◆ Ensure the most effective and beneficial distribution thereof to
        succeeding generations on his death, and in accordance with his wishes.

■■ A common misconception about estate planning is that it revolves solely
    around the making of a Last Will and Testament, or the structuring of an
    estate planner’s affairs so as to reduce estate duty.

■■ Estate planning is multidisciplinary in nature, and should take into account
    an individual estate planner’s financial, economical, social, and psychological
    needs in relation to his estate, himself, his family and his beneficiaries.

■■ It is not a once-and-for-all activity. The estate planner should regard it as a
    process, with built in flexibility.

■■ It involves the estate planner entering into a strategic exercise, comprising
    the following steps:

  Determining a snapshot of net worth – including assets, liabilities and income

   Setting goals and planning objectives – deciding in advance what to do with
                                  assets and liabilities

     Deciding on appropriate estate planning tools – once the objectives have
                          been set, deciding on ‘how’ to do it

                    Setting timeframes – deciding ‘when’ to do it

  Execution – deciding ‘who’ should do it, deciding on the team of professionals
                           to assist with executing the plan

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