Question posted in the Family Law category relating to Gauteng
Good evening. I would like to know how long it can take to register a family trust and what are the requirements in order to open one? The little story is I'm married in a community of property but i would like to buy a flat for my family. Most of them are using passports (Drc). I have already found a flat and I'm about to sign the offer to purchase. I would like to know if it will be preferable for me to first register the trust then transfer the flat later under the trust. Or do i need to first register the trust then buy the flat later when the family trust is already registered. Also i would like to know some of my siblings do not live in South Africa, will that be a problem or it is ok even though they are not here? Thank you.
i have made an EFT to your bank
Information Requested by Lawyer
Hi there and thank you for your question,
I am a practicing attorney based in South Africa and I will assist you with your question. Please feel free to ask as many follow up questions in order to clarify your question. If you have a new question, you must please open a new thread.
Please keep in mind that our discussions is for general information purposes only. Our engagement on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship.
Do you mind if I take a moment to review your question? I will come back to you shortly!
Answer to the Question
In order to open a Trust, you first need to draft a Trust Deed. This is a written document setting out the powers of the trustees who will be appointed to operate the Trust. There are many examples of Trust Deeds online, and most lawyers or accountants can actually draft a specific Trust Deed for you.
The second step is registering the Trust with the Master's Office; getting a Trust number assigned; and then the Master issuing letters of authority to the Trustees which authorise the Trustees to actually act on behalf of the Trust.
Then, once you have the letters of authority, ONLY THEN can the Trustees operate the Trust.
They can then buy a property, or open a bank account, etc.
You can't sign the OTP until such time as you have the letters of authority.
If you buy the flat yourself, you'll be paying the transfer costs and transfer duty. Then, to move the flat into the name of the Trust, you'll be paying the transfer costs and transfer duty again! So it might not be a good idea from a financial point of view.
There are no issues with the Trustees or Beneficiaries of the Trust living overseas, however one of the Trustees must live in SA.
I don't know how long the Master's Office is currently taking to register a Trust because each office (and there are 10 or 12 of them in SA) have different delays. So, move quickly. You can get the Trust Deed done on Monday, filed on Tuesday, and then wait.
If there is a part of the answer which you need more advice on, or clarity please continue in this same thread instead of opening a new question.
Please remember this is a dialog if you have follow up questions please use the REPLY button and ask. If I did not answer the question you thought you were asking, please respond with the specific question you wanted answered. I hope you found my answer helpful, and you have finished asking your questions, please click on the GREEN ACCEPT button in order to mark the question as closed.
Information provided by client
Answer to the Question
It costs nothing with the Master's Office.
But if you want a lawyer to assist in drawing up the Trust Deed, you'll need to ask the lawyer!
I can't refer you to a specific lawyer, but I can direct you to Find a South African Law Firm specialising in Trusts, where you can find a list of qualified lawyers in your area who will be able to assist you further!