Trust Administration Service

Trust administration is a service where the management (Trustees) and ownership (beneficiaries) of the trust assets are separated from each other. In this way ensuring that a testator wishes, and wealth journey are fulfilled either during his lifetime or after death. The trustees are responsible for trust administration and must at all times act in a fiduciary capacity. The trustee must protect the assets of the trust, and ensure they are used according to the terms of the trust instrument, be it a Will or Trust Deed. The duties of the trustees will vary according to the nature of the trust.

The administration of Trusts is governed by the provisions of the Trust Property Control Act no 57/1988. Loosely speaking, there are two types of Trust, namely

  • an inter- vivos trust created between living persons;
  • a testamentary trust derives from a valid will of a deceased*

Nominating a skilled trustee, such as Bespoke Executor Services (BEXs) is the single most important step in your decision to form a trust, and to ensure that the Trust is managed according to current legislation and best practices and with the necessary independence that will ensure you are at arm's length from the day-to-day trust operations.

Trustees need to stay abreast with ongoing legislative changes such as Section 7(c) of the Income Tax Act (which affects loan accounts to Trusts), Capital Gains Tax (CGT), Donations Tax and the deeming provisions in Trusts.

*Some information extracted from the Department of Justice & Constitutional Development (Master of the High Court) website.


Independent Trustee Services

As mentioned Trust administration is a service where the management (Trustees) and ownership (beneficiaries) of the trust assets are separated from each other. In this way ensuring that a testator wishes, and wealth journey are fulfilled either during his lifetime or after death. The trustees are responsible for trust administration and must at all times act in a fiduciary capacity. The trustee must protect the assets of the trust, and ensure they are used according to the terms of the trust instrument, be it a Will or Trust Deed. The duties of the trustees will vary according to the nature of the trust”

As the trustees are entrusted with the control of the assets in the interest of the beneficiaries, inadequate separation may result in the trust being regarded as an extension of the estate of the founder. Therefore, the arm's length principal (ALP) is the condition or the fact that the parties to a transaction should be independent and on an equal footing. Such a transaction is known as an "arm's-length transaction."

A trustee who is not related to the beneficiary of the trust and does not stand to inherit any property under the trust is considered independent. We recommend appointing a professional independent trustee with wide ranging fiduciary experience to your trust as this will ensure that all decisions are truly independent. Bespoke Executor Services (BEXs) has the expertise to fulfill this role.


Trust Legality Services

Trust are often set-up and managed without the requisite attention to detail, and adherence to the terms of the Trust Deed. Things like, the following are often ignored or overlooked:

  • Ensuring the initial donation is made
  • A bank account is opened
  • Requisite meetings held
  • Minutes of meetings and resolutions made are not documented
  • Annual Audits not done
  • Records of financial transaction kept

Bespoke Executor Services (BEXs) undertakes a thorough and meticulous due diligence of the management of the trust. It includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Ensuring that the terms of the Trust Deed are being adhered to;
  2. The trustees are exercising their duty of care;
  3. The trustees are acting in the interest of the beneficiaries;
  4. There is the necessary Trustee independence;
  5. Regulatory provisions are being adhered to;
  6. Taxation matters are up to date
  7. Financial records are being kept
  8. Banking account/transactions are reviewed
  9. Meetings/minutes and resolution are kept, stored and available to stakeholders

Trust Deed Drafting Services

The trust deed must be drafted meticulously, with the requisite attention to detail and must be drafted to meet the client’s needs. It is critical that the parties to the trust are clearly identified specifically as it pertains to the Trustees and beneficiaries, remembering that there could be a difference in beneficiary classes, namely Income and Capital beneficiaries. Moreover, the tax consequences of forming a Trust must be carefully considered by the client. Let Bespoke Executor Services (BEXs) assist you in considering this option and in need draft the deed for you.

Making use of a template could lead to undesired, and sometimes disastrous, consequences such as the situation which arose in the case of Potgieter and Another v Potgieter NO and Others 2012 (1) SA 637 (SCA).


Trust Secretarial Services

A trustee’s duties are arduous, time consuming and often unwittingly ignored. Unless the governance aspects of Trust administration are attended to timeously, Trustees face the risk of incurring penalties or worse still, being found incompetent to serve in that role and being removed by the Master of the High Court or the courts.

Bearing in mind that Trustees, why applying to be appointed, confirm to the Master of the High Court that they understand their duties and have the requisite experience to act in that role. Why not let Bespoke Executor Services (BEXs) assist you with the governance and secretarial duties, leaving the Trustees to make the strategic decisions without having to worry that the Trust records are up to date, relevant and in compliance with Trust law?