Discretionary Living Trusts A legacy for generations

Written by Trust Specialist, Mervin Messias, it is the culmination of knowledge and expertise that has been acquired over many years’ study and practice of Trust law.

The author recommends the use of Trusts as part of estate planning because they provide solutions to many potentially complicated problems related to asset protection, succession planning, and disability protection. Many little-known benefits of Trusts are revealed to help protect your hard-earned wealth for generations to come. A Trust circumvents the whole process of winding up an estate, together with its potential delays, hassles and frustration.

In fact, a Trust deserves pride of place in any estate plan. It means business as usual, even after death, with no executor, executor’s fees or estate duty.

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    Creating A Trust


    Creating A Trust

    Creating A Trust

    Did you know that trusts have been around for nearly 1000 years? That’s a really, really long time! Trusts are really an essential part of estate planning. Why do people create trusts? There are many reasons for setting up trusts. Did you know that the main reason for creating a trust is to protect your estate and assets? Establishing a trust is especially necessary if you have minor children who aren’t able to manage their inheritances. Are there any benefits of creating a trust?

    There are some benefits of creating a trust:

    • By law, a trust’s financials stay private. The financials of a trust are not a matter of public record.
    • Depending on the type of trust that you choose, any assets that you place in it aren’t owned by you or your heirs and beneficiaries. No creditors are able to claim debts against the assets you place in your trust.
    • Setting up a trust secures uninterrupted succession. What happens to the trust if one of your loved ones passes away? If one of your loved ones dies, the operation of the trust is not impacted.

    What else should you know about trusts?

    • Where are trusts registered? Trusts need to be registered at the Master of the High Court. Take note that a trust needs to be correctly structured and administered in accordance with the trust deed. A Trust Specialist has the required expertise to ensure that your trust is correctly structured and administered in accordance with the trust deed.
    • Trustees are the guardians of the trust assets. Choose your trustees well. By doing so, you will guarantee professional asset and investment management.

    What types of trusts are there in South Africa?

    • There are three types of trusts in South Africa: inter vivos trusts or living trusts, testamentary trusts, as well as bewind trusts.
    • A testamentary trust is created at the winding up of a deceased estate following a certain stipulation in the deceased individual’s will that a trust needs to be created.
    • A bewind trust is created as a trading vehicle offering trustees restricted liability and certain tax advantages.
    • You can create an inter vivos trust during your lifetime to manage specific assets or investments and support beneficiaries, like your family members. A Trust Specialist can assist you in creating a living trust that is tailored to your needs.
    • The trust deed needs to be drafted according to your individual circumstances.

    Make sure to consult with me when it comes to estate planning and trust creation. With 40 years of expertise and knowledge, I can assist you. I will take you through the procedures for getting your assets into the protection of your living trust. I am available for face-to-face consultations with my clients. I will explain the ins and outs of creating living trusts.


    JD (Juris Doctor) / BA, LLB (Wits) / TEP (Trust & Estate Practitioner)

    Book an appointment with my Executive Assistant, Jutleth Mkhonza. Email  or call +27 (0) 11 783 0108.