Uniqueness of South African trusts - a webinar series

These webinars are only available as recordings.

Webinar 1: The creation and termination of trusts

Testamentary trusts, special/PBO trusts and business trusts: What every adviser/trustee needs to know.

This webinar is intended for everybody who deals with trusts and trust law, as well as every trustee or adviser, whether you are a novice or a seasoned guru.  We will focus on some of the frequently neglected and sometimes confusing topics, as well as the latest developments in and important practical aspects of trust law, which have to be accounted for when creating a trust or evaluating an existing trust deed for a client.  When it comes to divorce or tax matters, or to recent court decisions, the rights of beneficiaries appear to have become more and more contentious. 

Only available as a recording.

Webinar content
  • Why is it important for all practitioners to understand the unique nature of South African trust law?
  • What is the legal nature of a real trust and who is the owner of the trust assets?  Why is this important for the creation of trusts?
  • Is it possible to create a trust unilaterally in South Africa?  What is the role of the founder after creating a trust and can he/she be replaced as founder?
  • What qualifications are required for appointment as a trustee and why is there a minimum number of trustees that can be appointed?  How important is the appointment of an independent trustee?  What role does a protector play in South Africa?
  • When does the appointment of a trustee and trusteeship commence and when does it end?  What are the most common errors made with regard to the appointment and powers of trustees?
  • Who can be a beneficiary of a trust?  Can a founder of a trust also be a trustee and a beneficiary and is there a maximum number of beneficiaries?
  • What are the different sources of beneficiaries’ rights and what role does the drafting of a trust deed play in creating these rights?  When and how does a beneficiary acquire these rights?  Why is it important to provide for a ius in personam ad rem aquirendam for CGT purposes when creating a trust?  When is a right “vested” for tax and other purposes?
  • What role does the stipulatio alteri play in the acquisition of beneficiaries’ rights and the variation of a trust deed, and what is the significance of this when drafting a trust deed?  Is the trust a single or a multiple stipulatio alteri?
  • What are the most common errors made when creating an inter vivos and a testamentary trust and how can they be avoided?
  • What are the most common errors made when creating a business (including a B-BEE) trust?
  • What are the essentials for a valid trust deed to prevent a sham trust?
  • When drafting trust deeds, what income tax, CGT, transfer duty and estate duty traps and implications cannot be ignored?
  • What are all the implications of the latest Chief Master’s Directive(s) (especially 2 of 2017) for the creation and termination of trusts and are they achieving their objectives?
  • What are some of the most common errors with regard to the termination of trusts and the provision for termination in a trust deed?
  • What does the future hold for trusts?
Webinar 2: The administration of trusts and trusteeships

What every trustee, trust beneficiary and adviser should know about trust administration.

This webinar is intended for everybody who, in one way or another, is involved in the administration of trusts and trust law, as well as every trustee or adviser whether as a novice or a seasoned guru.  This includes attorneys, directors of companies, auditors, accountants, other professionals, and all trustees who want to learn more about trusts.

In this webinar, we will discuss many of the difficulties with the administration of a trust and important do's and don’ts of trusteeships.  We will unpack and focus on what trustees should do to keep their noses clean, so to speak, when exercising their challenging fiduciary duties, as well as what the beneficiaries’ rights are vis-à-vis trustees who may not be discharging their duties well.  Finally, we will dissect a couple of typical errors with and problem areas in trust administration and explain how to prevent them.

More and more trustees find themselves in trouble, either because they think they know everything or because they really do not know much about trusts.  This webinar will enable attendees to stay out of the trouble and even to solve the knowledge problem.

Only available as a recording.

Webinar content


  • What are the three most common errors made with the administration of trusts and how can unsatisfactory trust administration be prevented?
  • What are the four most common challenges for trustees when administering a trust?
  • What does trusteeship really entail and how easily can a trustee find him/herself involved in a conflict of interests?  What are the consequences of this?
  • How is trusteeship acquired in an existing trust after formation and what are the typical pitfalls in this regard?  When is it necessary for a trustee to open a bank account?  What legislative limitations are there on the number of trustees?
  • What are the requirements for a valid resignation of a trustee from office and when does the resignation actually take effect?  Does the Turquand rule give trustees any protection?  When can trust documents be destroyed?
  • How can trustees validly remove a co-trustee from office, and under what circumstances can trusteeship merely be vacated on the grounds of incapacity or ex officio?  What are the pitfalls?  Who can apply to the court for the removal of a trustee and what other grounds and methods are there for the termination of trusteeship?
  • What do a trustee’s fiduciary duty and sub-duties entail and when do these duties take effect?  What effect does this have on the variation of a trust deed and its neglect on the removal of trustees from office?
  • How can neglect of their common law and statutory duties, i.e. failing to adhere to the trust deed or to account to beneficiaries or to express an independent view, lead to the easy removal of trustees?  Can trustees merely follow the founder’s wishes?  Who has access to trust information at the Master’s offices?
  • What are the rules for the interpretation of a trust deed according to case law and the recent judgments of the Constitutional Court – especially in respect of terms such as “spouse”, “children”, “related by affinity”, etc?
  • Under which circumstances (including in divorce matters) does a trust actually become a trustee’s alter ego?  How does this differ from a sham trust?  Who should be joined in divorce proceedings where trusts are involved?
  • Can trustees discriminate against a trust beneficiary?  How are trustees supposed to exercise any discretion granted to them in terms of the trust deed?  What role do the rules of natural justice play in this regard?
  • Why is it important to first determine the trust beneficiaries’ rights prior to amending a trust deed and what role does the stipulatio alteri play in this?  Can the object of a trust be tampered with and what other typical pitfalls are there regarding the variation of a trust deed?
  • What are the implications of the latest Chief Master’s Directive(s) (especially 2 of 2017) for trustees and the administration of trusts, and are the objectives being achieved?
Webinar 3: Holistic estate planning application and the taxation of trusts

This webinar will provide you with a new perspective on estate planning and assist you to present more accurate and holistic estate plans to your clients.  As these plans deal with the future and all its uncertainties, there will inter alia be a discussion on how scenario planning can assist to reduce some of these future uncertainties.  Most often, estate planning is narrowed to only an estate duty calculation or used merely as a marketing tool for something else.  Meanwhile, aspects such as its holistic nature and the importance of a team effort are often neglected.  Special attention will also be given to the roles, characteristics, and importance of the different professional team members of a holistic estate planning team such as the attorney, accountant, advisor etc.  We’ll cover the do’s and don’ts of holistic estate planning in detail as well as how to integrate the trust as an estate planning tool with the different sub-plans into a holistic, workable estate plan that can be implemented by the client.

Practical examples, key elements, and challenges of a holistic estate plan and its sub-plans will be discussed.  Thus, from the business plan to the B-BBEE plan, from the financial and assurance plans to the tax plan and testamentary plan, and how to integrate all these with scenario planning into a holistic estate plan are part of the menu.

Only available as a recording.

Webinar content


  • Why “holistic” estate planning and what are the sub-plans and the wide and challenging spectrum of disciplines involved?
  • What is the composition of the ideal holistic estate planning team and what are the most important characteristics of the professional holistic estate planner?
  • How can scenario planning as part of a holistic estate plan, limit the future uncertainties and cause the plans to be more accurate?
  • Restructured families, i.e. those families after divorce or death and remarriage, sadly often find themselves in family disputes. How can a proper family relationship plan prevent such family disputes and feuds?
  • What are usually the factors that prompts a person to make a will and why is the psychology of testation so important for every advisor to know of?
  • What role does the juridical environment play, and where does the trust fit into this as well as into the holistic estate plan?
  • What are the seven important non-tax uses of a trust?
  • How can one use a trust in the financial, assurance & tax plans, and how does one integrate all these plans into the holistic estate plan of a client?
  • Why are the cultural, religious, and political environments important for every holistic estate plan?
  • What are the eight important objectives of a good estate plan?
  • How can an ante-nuptial contract of a parent, have the effect that a whole life policy payable to a child, be estate duty free in the parent’s estate?
  • What are the seven important tax benefits of a trust?
  • How much discretion can trustees of B-BBEE trusts now have, after the DTI Practice Note of 2021, and what happened to the problem of “bewind” trusts?
  • What makes a trust thé ideal holistic estate planning tool, and why?
  • What are the estate checklists during divorce and re-marriage, and what are the estate planning opportunities in this regard?
  • What are some of the often forgotten age and ability related and will making uses of a trust and where does the different special trust/s fit in?
  • How should RAF and court order trusts be structured after the latest case law and what estate planning is required?
  • How can the use of different trusts, create some important business and specific industry applications such as for risk protection and agricultural purposes?
  • How and can a trust (and a bad estate plan) be unbundled and why?
The logistics
  • Webinars can either be attended online or by obtaining recordings.
  • Online webinars take place in the mornings from 08:00-13:00.
  • 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.
  • Each presentation is accompanied by a comprehensive reference manual.
  • Manuals are sent electronically in PDF format.
Our promise
  • Be equipped with a better practical understanding of South African trust law.  
  • Receive a comprehensive set of notes containing practical do's and don’ts and examples.
  • Be equipped with a better practical understanding of holistic estate planning and the use of trusts, with or without some tax benefits.
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