Estate administration

estate planning can you trust a trust?
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Estate Planning: Can You Trust A Trust?

There is nothing easy about estate planning. If you don’t have the right financial planning partner to ensure that your affairs are in order, it can become a nightmare. Just the sheer amount of products on the market can leave you overwhelmed and scratching your head trying to decide what to do. 

When set up correctly a trust can be a very useful estate planning tool. You need to weigh up all your options to decide if a trust is suitable for your estate. Read further as we unpack the pros and cons of trusts and help you figure out what’s best for you. 


What Is A Trust?

Simply put, a trust is an arrangement between two parties. The first party (the trustee) holds assets for the second party (the beneficiary) as instructed by the owner (trustor).

In recent years more and more people have wondered if a trust really is the best vehicle to store their assets for their loved ones. So why would someone still use trusts in this day and age?

Well, if you contact a financial services provider who knows what they are doing, a trust can have a multitude of benefits. Trusts can be a fantastic vehicle to protect against creditors, they can help reduce certain taxes on your estate and they can be an effective planning mechanism for future generations.  

Is A Trust Right For You?

It might seem pretty obvious that the problem is not primarily with the product of trusts but who you secure the trust with. Just because they seem advantageous doesn’t mean that trusts are right for your estate. 

Maysure Finacial Services can help you decide which trust will best fit your estate or if you need one at all. It is important to think carefully before deciding to add this product to your estate. You really need to weigh the pros and cons:

Advantages Of A Trust In Your Estate Plan

Here are a few ways a trust can benefit your estate:

Asset Protection 

Certain trusts can be used to protect assets from creditors. This, of course, does not mean you can prejudice your creditors on purpose. 

You only live once and sometimes you might feel the time is right to take a high-risk business venture. In this event, a trust can be used as a shield to protect your loved ones’ assets from potential creditors. 

Provide for a dependant with a disability 

One of the biggest fears parents of children with disabilities face is “who will take care of them when I am gone”. A special trust can help you fix this problem and finally put your mind at ease. 

A certain trust may be registered for the sole benefit of a child or dependant that is not able to manage their own affairs due to disability. These trusts even qualify for favourable tax benefits that could end up making your loved ones’ life so much easier. 

Access To Capital In Event Of Your Death 

Of course, you are not only concerned with the well-being of your disabled dependents in the event of something happening to you. Your able-bodied loved ones need just as much protection and trust can ensure their needs are met in a timely fashion.

Certain trusts create an ideal situation to make sure your loved ones have capital and income after you die. Your personal accounts may be frozen as part of the administration process but your trust does not form part of these personal accounts. 

While your loved ones wait for your estate to pay out, you are able to ensure that they remain in in a stable financial position. 

Disadvantages of A Trust In Your Estate Plan

Of course, it is not all sunshine and rainbows when it comes to setting up a trust. There are a few things that make people hesitant to include them in their estate. 

Admin Costs

Running trusts can add a layer of complexity and cost to your financial affairs. If you are planning to appoint a professional trustee for your trust you need to budget for that. 

It is important to keep costs as low as possible. This will make sure you have enough money to maintain your trust and ensure all functions are attended to. 

Choosing The Wrong Trustees 

Who you partner with on your trust is of extreme importance. A trustee will essentially have control of all your assets after you die so make sure you have the right professionals for the job. 

Choose a financial partner that really has the beneficiaries’ best interest at heart. One that can put your mind at ease when it comes to your family’s being.  

Find Out More About Trusts Today

Outlined in this article are just a few of the pros and cons that you can experience when trying to set up your trust. You need to be sure this is the right product to meet your estate planning needs. 

Find out more about trusts today. Call a partner you can trust with your future. 

Contact us here:

+27 11 839 2302

Maysure Financial Services is a registered financial services provider. FSP 15173

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640 417 Maysure Financial Services

Tax Law Changes: Effects On Estate Planning

Within the South African tax sphere, changes are continuously made to ensure fair and balanced taxed households.

Every business owner, employee, and regular individual must be in the know regarding tax laws implemented in South Africa. We at Maysure Financial Services have a firm grasp on estate administration and the relevant tax laws. Keep reading to find out more about changes to tax and the related effects on your estate. 

What are the current changes to tax law?

Man writing in book

Proposal of exit tax on retirement interests (for now)

You may wonder what ‘exit tax’ means’? In simple terms, it is the tax that is payable (when you leave the country) on either foreign fixed property, trusts, shares, or unit trusts as well as similar investments. All of this forms part of the standard process for emigration.

The proposal of introducing an exit tax was drafted last year but has since been on hold. During this “hold”, no tax will be charged on the assets sold. As a result, now is potentially a good time to move for those looking to leave.

Conversations are still ongoing. as the proposal will be re-examined later this year. Here at Maysure Financial Services, we assist you to prepare for the future of your estate and retirement by planning according to what regulations and legislation are in place.

Use of retirement interest to obtain annuities

In the past, an individual could not acquire annuities upon their retirement. However, now, because of the amendment to the Income Tax Act, individuals can choose from different types of annuities. Retirement annuities are an excellent vehicle of income for retirees.

Estate duty

Estate duty should not be an unfamiliar term. Well, that is if you have written a will and made plans for your estate upon your death. 

There are no changes to the tax regarding this particular aspect of estate planning. But, it must be noted once a deceased person’s assets have been filed. This is essential because it is the ultimate duty of the executor to ensure the duty levied on the property of the deceased is paid.

Estate duty is charged on movable or immovable properties/assets of a deceased person. Among other responsibilities, the executor needs to know the value of these assets. 

At Maysure Financial Services, we offer estate administration services to ensure everything is distributed according to your final wishes and loved ones’ needs. 

Capital and income gains tax

Family laying on the ground

When you pass away, your tax expense doesn’t leave earth with you. SARS has the right to claim what is owed to them before any finalisation of an estate. These include income tax, capital gains tax, donations tax, and any other form of tax that may be applicable.

Capital gains tax refers to a tax that is not separate but forms part of income tax. A capital gain occurs when you dispose of an asset for proceeds that exceed its base cost. This tax is normally for companies, individuals, or trusts.

A resident of South Africa, as stated in the Income Tax Act 58 of 1962, is responsible for capital gain tax on assets that are located both in and outside South Africa.

Whistles a  non-resident is responsible for capital gain tax only on immovable property in South Africa or assets of a “permanent establishment”  in South Africa. 

Couple talking to estate administration consultant

How all of these tax laws affect your estate

Drafting an estate plan shows your loved ones that you care for them and understand the importance of planning. Tax laws make up an important part of estate planning which may affect your estate in the unfortunate but inevitable event of your death. 

In many ill-fated cases, families are left in devastating financial and emotional situations because of hefty tax penalties and red tape. A financial professional can help you to navigate the intricate web of tax regulations and stipulations. 

Changes are inevitable. It is how you plan around them that matters.

Man sifting through paperwork

If you need assistance in understanding Acts and Laws concerning your estate, don’t hesitate to call us.

+27 11 839 2302

Maysure Financial Services is a registered financial services provider. FSP 15173

Estate administration
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Estate Administration: Inheritance & Wills In South Africa

South Africa has an inclusive justice system. This can be seen from its acknowledgment of rights for foreigners and people in customary marriages.

With the interplay between different laws and stipulations, estate planning and administration may seem a daunting task. Fortunately, writing a Will and the inheritance process do not have to fill you with dread.

Here is our guide to understanding estate administration, inheritance, and Wills in South Africa.

What Is Estate Administration

An estate is the total of money, assets, and property owned by an individual, especially at death.

Estate administration is the process of:

  • managing the estate,
  • paying any taxes or debts due on the estate, and
  • distributing the property and assets to the heirs and beneficiaries.

Estate administration ensures the deceased’s final wishes are carried out correctly. However, it’s important to note that it is a highly technical process.

Each individual’s estate and circumstances differ. Let’s draw a comparison.

A 65-year-old parent with five dependents, two businesses, numerous properties, foreign assets, and a large investment portfolio


A 33-year-old young professional with life cover, a spouse, no property, and a trust.

Both individuals have different family situations and are in different life stages. Yet, both would benefit from professional expertise to help them plan out their estates in the most tax-efficient and timely manner.

Avoid the pitfalls

The estate administration process is littered with pitfalls and red tape. The estate needs to be dealt with properly in order to give your family peace of mind after you’re gone.

The greatest tool to protect your final wishes is the Will. Drafting a valid Will simplifies the entire estate administration process by setting out your intentions in writing.

Drafting, Amending, And Revoking Wills

Drafting, Amending, And Revoking Wills

Most people in South Africa can draft their own Will. Drawing up your own valid Will requires you to have two people sign as witnesses (read more about the Will-making process here).

It is a simple process if you have a simple estate. However, taxes and know-how of the law are useful, especially if you have a large family, several assets, or policy payouts to manage.

At this point, it is always best to consult your financial advisor who will be able to help you with your financial needs. In this way, the process is smoother when it comes to dividing your assets.

As your life changes, so will your financial circumstances. This is why it’s important to regularly update your Will in the face of new life events like the birth of a child or purchase of a business.

Amending A Will

You can amend your current Will through a codicil. This is also known as an update to the Will.

All changes must comply with the requirements of a valid Will. Fortunately, the process does not require the two original witnesses to sign the Will again.

Revoking A Will

Asides from amending your Will, you can also completely revoke it. You can create a new one. The latest Will must state that the previous one has been revoked, or the old Will has been destroyed.

Revoking and/or destroying previous versions prevents future confusion and potential feuds between your beneficiaries and heirs. It helps all interested parties and loved ones stay on the same page.

Inheritance Law In South Africa

Inheritance Law In South Africa

Inheritance law applies to South Africans who own property in the country. The inheritance legislation generally respects the wishes of the deceased.

However, there is one exception to this law. If the spouse is left out of the Will, he or she can petition to claim a part of the estate to support themselves. This is called the Maintenance of Surviving Spouse Act.

Grant Of Probate

Grant Of Probate

A grant of probate is a document that affords a person the legal authority to act as executor. This executor can then administer the estate on behalf of the deceased.

After the subject’s passing, the family has two weeks to notify the Master of the High Court. This begins the process of settling the estate, including officially recognising the executor.

Within the Will, the deceased makes known the executor of their estate. This person will collect the deceased assets, pay any debts and estate taxes, and distribute the estate among beneficiaries.

Because of the sensitivity around death and finances, many people prefer to appoint estate administrators with both an excellent knowledge of the estate planning environment and a good relationship with the family.

Inheritance Tax In South Africa

South African inheritance tax (estate duty) applies to all estates that are valued below and above a certain amount. These estates may be subjected to capital gains and donations tax too.

  • For an estate under R30 million, the estate duty is 20% of the estate’s dutiable amount.
  • For an estate over R30 million, the estate duty is 25% of the estate’s dutiable amount.

Feel free to get in touch if you need help with navigating estate duty taxes and the small print of estate transfer.

Maysure Financial Services Estate Administration

Maysure Financial Services Estate Administration

Estate administration requires a professional and personal perspective. At Maysure Financial Services, our services are tailored to your circumstances.

Our offerings are inspired by your life and we do all we can to help you achieve financial freedom in this lifetime and for your family in the next.

We offer estate administration services that are fully committed to your needs. At all times, we provide you with the best support possible.

If you’re not sure where to turn, contact us today with your estate administration queries.

+27 11 839 2302

Maysure Financial Services is a registered financial services provider. FSP 15173