Category Archives: Trust

Inter-vivos Trusts en Testamentêre Trusts

A2Daar bestaan heelwat onkunde oor die gebruik van trusts tydens erflatings. Hierdie artikel poog om lig op hierdie belangrike kwessie te werp.

‘n Inter-Vivos Trust staan ook bekend as ‘n lewende of familietrust omdat dit gedurende jou leeftyd opgerig word. ‘n Trust is ‘n ideale langtermynstruktuur om bates van geslag tot geslag te beskerm terwyl dit Boedelbelasting bespaar. Boedelbelasting is die heffing wat betaalbaar is op jou totale bates by jou afsterwe.

Wanneer bates in ‘n Trust gekoop of na ‘n Trust oorgedra word, vind kapitaalgroei binne die Trust en dus buite jou boedel plaas. Dit beteken gevolglik dat die bates binne die Trust kan groei en nie hoër Boedelbelasting vir jou boedel tot gevolg sal hê nie.

Dit word aanbeveel om groeibates na ‘n Trust oor te dra deur dit aan die Trust te verkoop of te skenk.

Die waarde van die bate(s) wat aan die Trust verkoop word, sal dan in die vorm van ‘n leningsrekening deur die Trust aan jou (of jou boedel) verskuldig wees. Die waarde van die leningsrekening kan egter jaarliks suksesvol met R100 000 verminder word deur die jaarlikse vrygestelde bedrag van Skenkingsbelasting aan die Trust oor te betaal. Die Trust betaal dan die bedrag van die skenking aan jou terug ter gedeeltelike delging van die leningsrekening wat aan jou verskuldig is.

‘n Ander groot voordeel van ‘n Inter-Vivos Trust is dat dit beskerming bied indien jy gedagvaar sou word, omdat die bates in die Trust uitgesluit sal wees van sodanige eise. Die grootste nadeel van ‘n Trust is waarskynlik die feit dat jy volle beheer oor jou bates verloor. Jy as oorspronklike eienaar word nou ‘n mede-trustee en moontlik een van die begunstigdes van die Trust. Die mede-trustees het dus ook nou ‘n sê oor die bates wat aanvanklik 100% deur jou beheer en bestuur was.

‘n Testamentêre Trust, anders as ‘n Inter-Vivos Trust, word opgerig ingevolge iemand se testament en word eers geaktiveer wanneer die persoon te sterwe kom. Die hoofdoel van ‘n Testamentêre Trust is om die belange van begunstigdes (in baie gevalle minderjariges) te beskerm.

Die Trustees van die Testamentêre Trust verkry beheer oor die bates en bestuur en administreer die bates dan in terme van die bepalings van die Testamentêre Trust tot voordeel en in die beste belang van die begunstigdes.

Dit word aanbeveel dat die persoon(e) wat as Voog(de) van minderjarige kinders benoem word ten minste een van die Trustees van die Testamentêre Trust behoort te wees.

Anders as Inter-Vivos Trusts wat vir onbepaalde tydperke kan voortduur, word Testamentêre Trusts normaalweg beëindig sodra die trustbegunstigde(s) die ouderdom bereik wat in terme van die testament voorgeskryf word. Sou u besluit om ‘n Trust op te rig of in u testament in te sluit, sal dit wys wees om ‘n kenner hieroor te raadpleeg ten einde moontlike slaggate te vermy.

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies.

The importance of the independent trustee

A3A well-known court case, Land Bank of South Africa vs JL Parker and Two Others (the Parker case) irrevocably changed the requirements for independent trustees to be appointed and placed renewed focus on the duties and responsibilities of all trustees.

As a result of the Parker case, most Masters of the High Court now require an independent trustee to be appointed in addition to the trustees who are beneficiaries of the trust, and therefore will not issue a Letter of Appointment without at least one independent trustee being appointed. An independent trustee will be a person who is not related to the founder, the other trustees or the beneficiaries.

This independent trustee does not necessarily have to be a professional person but it must be someone who fully realises the responsibilities he or she is accepting when agreeing to act as a trustee, and is qualified in the view of the Master of the High Court to act as a trustee.

All trustees (independent or not) are charged with the responsibility to ensure that the trust functions properly to the greatest benefit of the beneficiaries. These responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  1. ensuring compliance with the provisions of the trust deed;
  2. ensuring compliance with all statutory requirements;
  3. conducting of proper trustee meetings;
  4. recording of proper minutes of all meetings and decisions by the trustees;
  5. proper maintenance and safekeeping of minute books. 

It is clear that a person who is appointed as an independent trustee must have the necessary experience and expertise to properly execute these duties as well as to add value to the trust. In many cases, the trustees who are not independent do not have sufficient knowledge of and experience in the proper administration of trusts. Furthermore, they might also lack expertise in utilising the vehicle of the trust in order to maximise the benefit for the beneficiaries.

This expertise includes negotiating and entering into business contracts, holistic tax and succession planning, and ensuring the optimal growth of the trust assets. It is in the best interest of the trust that this person also has sufficient knowledge of the impact of statutory requirements, such as compliance with relevant tax law and the effect of changes in legislation on the trust.

All trustees assume significant responsibility when accepting an appointment as a trustee and careful consideration must be given before accepting such an appointment. Any breach of fiduciary duties by any trustee, including the independent trustee, will result in significant exposure for the trustees. Furthermore, any action taken by the trustees on behalf of the trust while the proper number of trustees is not appointed by the Master of the High Court will be null and void.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.