A Trust is a legal arrangement in which an individual gives fiduciary control of property to a person or institution (the Trustee) for the benefit of beneficiaries. Trusts can be an effective Estate planning tool if drafted correctly. They are also useful for preserving assets for the ongoing benefit of a family or to protect wealth.

There are two types of Trusts:

  • A Testamentary Trust is created in a Will and takes effect on the death of the testator. If for any reason the Will is invalid, the Trust will not be formed.
  • An Inter Vivos Trust is established during the lifetime of the founder. The founding document is the Trust deed, which sets out who the Founder, Trustees and Beneficiaries are, defines the duties of Trustees and how and when the Trust is to be wound up.


A valid Will is the most important legacy you can leave your loved ones. It not only shortens
the period in which your estate is wound up but, if properly planned and structured, may
lead to huge savings in estate duty.

The task of drafting a suitable, practical and valid Will should be entrusted to a professional
as this can affect those dependant on you after you die. Every person aged 16 years or more
is entitled to draft a Will. It is advisable, if you have any assets, to execute a Will. Your
personal and financial circumstances are likely to change substantially during the course of
your lifetime. It is therefore essential to regularly review and update your Will to ensure
that it accurately reflects your wishes.

You can minimise the effective rate of tax and Estate duty on your Estate by ensuring
you take advantage of various Estate planning tools when drafting your Will.
The Wills Act of 1953 sets out strict guidelines pertaining to the validity of Wills. It is
therefore crucial that you consult an industry expert when drafting a Will to ensure that due
consideration is given to all aspects of Estate planning.


Estate administration is a lengthy and complex process so it is important to appoint an experienced executor to administer an Estate. Selecting Personal Trust as executor will have untold benefits for your beneficiaries after your death.

Our team of professionals will ensure that your Estate is wound up with as little upheaval to the family as possible, keeping your creditors and beneficiaries informed of the progress during the process. Our commitment to personal service ensures that our team remain mindful of the sensitivities of the bereaved whilst performing the role of executor professionally and in accordance with the last Will of the Deceased, or in terms of the Laws of Intestacy where the Deceased had no will.

Personal Trust is a registered Trust Company and is a member of the Fiduciary Institute of Southern Africa.