More and more South Africans are using their investment allowances - either the R1m single discretionary allowance or the R10m allowance that requires a tax clearance certificate (TCC allowance), or both - to invest offshore. So, what are some of the advantages of using an offshore endowment policy with a South African insurer? Ability to nominate a beneficiary An endowment policy on which a life is insured allows you to nominate a beneficiary, the person to whom the proceeds will be paid on your death. In the offshore world this is a major advantage, as it helps to avoid the problem of probate, the process whereby a foreign estate has to be wound up. This can prove particularly problematic. For example, assume John dies in SA and has two offshore investments not in an endowment wrapper. One is in the UK and one in Jersey. John's local executor has to engage with two offshore executors to help wind up the foreign portion of the estate. This can be time-consuming, especially given th...

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