Estate planning involves managing one’s assets during one’s lifetime and effectively disposing of those assets to intended beneficiaries after death, while also effectively discharging death taxes and other liabilities. Regardless of the many estate planning tools and mechanisms available to curb the effect of death taxes, estate consultants report that South Africans are still not carrying out estate planning. Therefore, the fundamental goal of this study was to determine what antecedents influence estate planning, in an attempt to gather pertinent information to motivate and promote estate planning in South Africa. The other area of interest for this study was to determine if there are relationships between these identified antecedents and estate planning, as well as between death taxes and estate planning in South Africa.
The literature review clarifies the concepts of estate planning and death taxes, provides information on the tools available for appropriate estate planning and lists the antecedents that influence estate planning globally. This conceptual framework was used to guide the primary research process in which hypotheses were formulated to provide insight for the research study goals. Non-experimental, quantitative and inferential methods were employed for this study. Primary data was collected via a web-based questionnaire. The questionnaire tested perceptions of estate planning and the antecedents influencing estate planning in South Africa. Owing to the scientific nature of this study, the simple random sampling technique was employed. The SAS package (version 9.2) was used to analyse the data collected. The results of this study are discussed in detail, confirming the relationship between the antecedents and estate planning as well as the relationship between death taxes and estate planning in South Africa. The results of this study further reveal the positive and negative antecedents influencing estate planning in South Africa. In conclusion, the study achievement is presented and recommendations for future research are tendered.