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Trusts Administration

Trusts are widely used in estate planning in South Africa, ranging from protecting assets held for the benefit of individuals who aren’t able to manage the assets themselves - through to assisting high-net worth individuals in implementing estate and succession planning, and wealth preservation strategies. One of the main advantages of Trusts is their flexibility and the ability to tailor them to meet your very specific and unique circumstances.

  • Protect your wealth and create a legacy.
  • Assist with asset management.
  • Help with implementing estate and succession plans.

What is a Trust?

A Trust is a legal entity consisting of a Founder, Trustee(s) and Beneficiaries. A Trust can also be described as a three party fiduciary relationship in which the first party, the Founder of the Trust, transfers assets to the second party, the Trustees of the Trust for the benefit of the third party, the Beneficiaries of the Trust. The Trustees of the Trust control the assets of the Trust for the benefit of the Trust Beneficiaries. The Trust Deed contains all of the important details of the Trust, which can be described as a contract between the Founder and the Trustees of the Trust.

Why Momentum Trust?

Momentum Trust specialises in estate planning, family trust administration, wills and deceased estate administration. Our specialised teams are experts in setting up Trusts designed to meet specific requirements in South Africa. Once a Trust is established it must be properly administered and the Trustees must correctly comply with their fiduciary duties. We can assist with this process.

Purpose of a Trust

Trusts can be set up for various reasons and tailored according to your needs:

  • Protection and preservation of assets such as property, artwork and other investments or business interests for the next generation.
  • Charitable purposes or other special causes.
  • Minor Beneficiaries: either to hold cash and investments that can pay an income to minor Beneficiaries for schooling or university.
  • To hold assets, such as a house, for those Beneficiaries.
  • A disabled dependent or an aged parent who may rely on you for financial support, but who may be unable to manage money or assets on their own.

Unsigned Trust document with a pen placed on top of it.

How to set up a Trust in South Africa

Trusts may be created either:

  • during the lifetime of the founder (in which case they are referred to as inter vivos Trusts); or
  • on the death of the founder in terms of his or her Will (in which case they are referred to as testamentary or mortis causa Trusts).

Benefits of setting
up a Trust

Trusts are ideal for preserving the wealth you have created, ensuring continuity of your business or protecting family members’ interests. It is a flexible and tax-effective option to aid estate planning and asset protection. Trusts may be structured to address the specific needs of clients and it is therefore important to obtain professional advice and guidance in this regard.

In South Africa, Trusts must be registered with the Master of the High Court. The costs of establishing a Trust include a once-off fee to draft the Trust deed and to register it. It’s advisable to appoint a professional trustee to administer the Trust and to guide the remaining trustees regarding the management of the Trust fund. The professional trustee will charge an ongoing fee for administration, which will depend on the purpose of the Trust and the nature of the Trust assets.

Momentum Trust administration services

We work with you and your financial adviser to guide you through the process of setting up a Trust, which include:

  • Deciding on the Trust structure that suits your needs.
  • Preparing the documentation required.
  • Facilitating the execution of the Trust Deed and related documents.
  • Registration of the Trust with the Master of the High Court.
  • Independent professional Trusteeship and Trust Administration.

Old legal books stacked on a table. One book lies open on the table.
Old legal books stacked on a table. One book lies open on the table.

Registration of Trusts in South Africa

We specialise in drafting and registration of the following types of trusts in South Africa:

  • Inter vivos (family) Trusts: Created while an individual is still alive.
  • Special Trusts: For minors or beneficiaries with disabilities.
  • Charitable Trust: Created for advancement of any purpose considered as charitable in law.
  • Mortis causa (Will) Trusts: Created in terms of the Will of a deceased person.

Time to talk to a
financial adviser?

Let our financial advisers help you reach your estate planning goals.

Email us at: [email protected]

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