Countless articles have been written, videos made, lectures and talks given on succession, succession in the context of estate planning, Wills, and the administration of deceased estates, but many people still do not know what they need to plan for.  Why is this? Perhaps we need to reconsider how we define succession.

Each one of us come into life gifted with a unique combination of the DNA of a pyramid of generations that came before us.  We carry the hopes and dreams that occupied the minds and filled the hearts of those who created us.

In the bigger scheme of the succession process, wealth, status and material possessions are of negligeable importance, almost a hindrance really – an administrative process at best.  The value of R5 000 left to an heir in 1960, may have seemed like a big deal to both the testator and heir at the time, but a few generations later it just simply seems to be, well, immaterial, doesn’t it?

So, what can succeed from one generation to the next without diminishing in value? What lasts? DNA does, but its refreshed and renewed with each succession.  Education does, and again, it’s a process of continuous renewal and progression.

Human ability is also transferred from human to succeeding human.  First a biological ability, and then through an extended process of parenting, example setting and mentorship, mental and psychological context is given to the human ability, which eventually defines us.

Herein lies the answer.

Most of what is written and spoken when it comes to succession, deals with the administration of death and not with succession.  As with the R5 000 in 1960, it seems like a big deal, worthy of lots of attention.  Succession, however, is much deeper than that and does not sit within the remit of a bank, a trust company, an attorney or an accountant.  True succession sits within the quality conversations that happen between succeeding generations.  No one can have those quality conversations but you.

In support of quality conversations, it is important to have a good understanding of the legal aspects – the true facts!

Over the next couple of weeks, we will be releasing a number of “did you know episodes” in a true myth buster fashion. Our aim is to debunk the misinformation shared on social media, at the Saturday braai and by those who stand to make a profit from the unnecessary fear that the misinformation creates. We aim to ensure that you are armed with the true facts when having those quality conversations. 

We trust that you will enjoy the journey to successful succession with us.