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Trust Definition

In a trust, property is held by one party for the benefit of another party.
It's a three-party fiduciary relationship, between a settlor, protector and beneficiary.


Trusts in south Africa are governed by the Trust Property Control Act, 57 of 1988 and are registered by the Master of the High Court. The Master’s office. 

Trust division, deals with trust files and controls reference to trusts and their queries. A trust consists of a separate legal entity that deals with founder, trustees and beneficiaries. The founder transfers assets and control the assets for the sole benefit of the beneficiaries. Natural and Juristic persons may be beneficiaries of a trust.

A trust deed contains all the information relating to the trust and governs the rights and obligations between the founder and trustees. There are two types of trusts:

Testamentary Trust

used mainly as a way of protecting assets of minors or people who are not capable of looking after their own interests. And;

Living Trusts

used mainly to keep and protect assets for generations. There are different forms of living trusts, such as Guardians Trust, Family Trust, Charitable Trust, Special Trust and Umbrella trust.

Trusts are subject to income tax as well as capital gains tax.
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