Trust deed – Can it be trusted?

This workshop is only available in English.  Recordings only.

This new workshop is presented by Professor Willie van der Westhuizen who has over three decades of experience in trust law.  He previously presented webinars on the uniqueness of South African trusts.


A workshop in pursuit of legal compliance

With recent amendments to the Trust Property Control Act, 1988, and its regulations in 2022, there is a newfound emphasis on the trust deed.  There are many questions surrounding whether trust deeds in use by practitioners are still compliant since changes to the TPC Act came into operation in 2023.  Compounding these statutory changes are the large volume of other developments in the past 15 years in the unique, mainly civil law and trust law system of South Africa as part of the common law global environment.

In this workshop, the most important new and older stipulations/clauses that your trust deed (and amendments to it) should and should not contain, to make it valid and compliant, will be discussed.

We aim to unpack the international sources for the recent local changes to the Trust Property Control Act 57 of 1988.  We’ll examine whether one size can really fit it all, as well as what can be done in the future to make it fit.  The workshop also provides a platform to evaluate and reconsider the existing trust deeds used by practitioners, considering the new statutory changes as well as recent and older case law. 

Workshop content
  • What should my trust deed stipulate after the coming into operation on 1 April 2023 of sections 1 to 8 of the General Laws (Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Terrorism Financing) Amendment Act no 22 of 2022?
  • To which trusts does the new regulatory framework apply and why?
  • To what extent is Recommendation 25 of the international watchdog, the FATF, compulsory to follow and what is the effect of this on, for example, ordinary testamentary trusts in South Africa?
  • What are the new amendments to the TPC Act, 1988? We’ll discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly.
  • Who are “foreign trustees” and what are the new requirements for them? Should your trust deed provide for it?
  • Why are foreign offshore trust deeds (and even local deeds) often invalid in South Africa?
  • When and why are beneficiaries required for the variation of trust deeds?
  • What should a trust deed stipulate in respect of resolutions by trustees? Are all trustees required to participate in resolutions taken by them? What happens if some do not want to or cannot vote?
  • What is the possible solution for valid resolutions in the event of quick successive resignations by nominees of company trustees or even vacancies caused by death of a nominee? 
  • When is a trustee deemed to have resigned to administer a trust – also in respect of reporting requirements in re beneficial ownership purposes?
  • If a trust deed is silent on it, can actions by trustees be ratified? Are there any exclusions?
  • What are the new disqualifications for trustees to be authorised by the Master?
  • What are some of the strange and even bad clauses and drafting errors in trust deeds?
  • Which are the most common errors made with trust deeds and what are the solutions?
  • How can a vesting/bewind trust be recognised from its wording?
  • Which stipulations in a trust deed should you avoid in order to prevent the trust from becoming someone’s alter ego? What else may also be required?
  • What is necessary for the drafting of a testamentary trust to enjoy all the benefits of a “special trust”?
  • What else, other than merely stating it, is necessary in a trust deed to allow trustees complete and full discretionary powers?
  • What are all the new statutory duties of trustees and is it necessary to stipulate it in the trust deed? 
  • What should a trust deed not stipulate when the trustees are still members of a close corporation?
Who should attend?
  • Trust practitioners
  • Trust, legal and financial advisors 
  • Trust administrators
  • Trustees and all involved in trusts
The logistics
  • The workshop is presented online over 3 hours from 08:00–11:00 on 21 or 23 November 2023.
  • Workshops can either be attended online or by obtaining recordings.  
  • When opting for recordings, follow the instructions in your registration confirmation email to request access to view recordings online.  Recordings can be viewed at any time once you've received login details.  Recordings are only available for a limited time, please refer to your registration confirmation letter for more information.
  • The presentation is accompanied by a comprehensive presentation which is sent in PDF/PowerPoint format.
Why workshops?
  • Workshops are shorter than webinars.
  • The manuals are more concise than those of webinars.
  • Interactive discussion of practical case studies applicable in the workplace.
  • Enough time allocated for questions and answers.
Our promise
  • This workshop is a great way to upskill and improve your knowledge and skills of drafting or redrafting a trust deed (or diagnosing the problem areas).
  • The expertise shared will save you time and money as you won’t have to do your own research on the topic.
  • You’ll walk away with a holistic picture of the good in the changes and be able to recognise, prevent, reduce, and eliminate improper application of South African trust law. With these improved skills, you’ll be one step closer to increasing the demand for your trust law work.
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