Assistance provided to overseas heirs

Apr 9, 2021 | General Financial Planning News

Nick de Villiers, Trust Officer at our Noordhoek branch, tells how we have assisted heirs who do not live in South Africa.

As you may be aware, Personal Trust has a large Estates Department, focussed on winding up the deceased estates of many of our clients who had nominated Personal Trust as an executor in their Will. What you may not be aware of is that, in winding up our clients’ estates, we have found that this increasingly entails dealing with heirs who live overseas. Even before the Covid-19-induced travel restrictions, many heirs were unable to travel to South Africa and spend a prolonged period dealing with the lengthy process of finalising the affairs of their deceased relatives. This meant that they often requested Personal Trust to assist in matters which they could not handle from afar.

We have collected death certificates and even ashes from funeral homes when no family members were able to do so. We have ensured that houses were properly secured and that someone was appointed to ensure the safety of the contents. We have also arranged for the sale of household contents, motor vehicles, as well as the house itself in the case where there are no other relatives.

Trust Officers also work with the overseas children of many clients, who need assistance to pay bills and manage their own affairs. Quite often, without our assistance, the only option would be to appoint a local attorney to handle their affairs. This can prove to be expensive.

Perhaps the most important task we have undertaken has been to keep in touch with the distant family to keep them informed of the progress of winding up the estate. Heirs will often request advice on how to invest the proceeds of their inheritance, or express an interest in taking over an asset, such as a share-portfolio,  and request us to continue managing those assets. We are able to assist in investing the assets locally, as well as advise on the investment of funds that family wish to repatriate offshore.

The Personal Trust’s Isle of Man office,  managed by Nicola Taal, offers a broad range of services, including assisting our clients living abroad with investments. PTI (Isle of Man) Limited was established to provide services to clients based outside South Africa (many of whom are family members of some of our much-valued South African clients) as well as to manage funds for clients who have funds offshore.

PTI (Isle of Man) Limited offers the following range of services:

Investment Services

We are able to create individually tailored and managed investment portfolios that meet our clients’ needs through investment with Sarasin and Ashburton, amongst others. All advice is given via our South African-based Trust Officer liaising with Nicola Taal in the UK.

PTI  Offshore Funds

Investments are also possible into one of the PTI Offshore Funds.  The PTI Global Select Managers Cautious Fund is a diversified international portfolio of funds, asset classes and currencies.  Its objective is to achieve long-term capital growth with a moderate level of risk. The PTI Global Select Managers Opportunities Fund invests in a diversified range of asset classes but with a strong bias for global equities.  It has an above-average risk profile.

Trustee Services

At PTI (Isle of Man) we offer the formation and administration of Trust’s in the Channel Islands.


Utilising our in-house legal team, we are able to draft Wills covering world-wide assets.

Offshore Financial Services

We are able to service our clients’ offshore requirements including assistance with establishing bank accounts in the Channel Islands, ad hoc financial advice via our South African-based Trust Officers and assistance with the movement of funds between South Africa and overseas.

Nicola’s contact details are: 0044 7973 255 259 or