Good day SirMadam. Me and my twin brothe...

Asked by Anon22yearold on 18-03-2021 12:29:31
Question posted in the Insurance Law category relating to Western Cape

Good day Sir/Madam. Me and my twin brother are 22 years old and our mother is in her 50's and our father is his late 60's. 

We are all part of a trust where we all 4 are trustees. Most of the family's assets is kept in the trust. My father has a life insurance policy of about 16 million rand that will pay out to my mother and to our trust when he passes away.

He is afraid that when he passes away, the insurance companies will take very long to pay out or does not pay out the amount in whole, which will be very stresfull and inconvienent for my mother.

His solution to this is to add another trustee that is a friend of his, Dinette. Dinette is an insurance broker and deals with insurance companies a lot. He says that it if he passes away, Dinette can enquire with the insurance companies and that they will pay out faster,  because she is a insurance broker and a trustee. 

So my question to you is, will insurance companies pay out faster and in whole to a trust, if it is a insuranance broker as well as a trustee that is handling the paperwork and making the enquiries to them? Are there other ways to follow up on insurance payouts, rather than adding somebody on the trust? What solutions can I propose to my father, that will reassure him my mother will get her insurance payout without having to add a trustee?

To be honest, our family have been having issues and is divided in two. Me and my brother vs my father and mother. I am just not comfortable to sign to add another trustee, that will give my parents 3 vs 2 voting rights over me and my brother. And I am suspecious that my father is making excuses to add another trustee that will give them 3 vs 2 voting rights over me and my brother. Please let me know what you think.

Answer to the Question

Posted by Att. Patrick on 18-03-2021 13:20:00

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. 

Q: will insurance companies pay out faster and in whole to a trust, if it is a insuranance broker as well as a trustee that is handling the paperwork and making the enquiries to them? --> There is nothing that I have seen before which would suggest this to be the case. 

Q: Are there other ways to follow up on insurance payouts, rather than adding somebody on the trust? --> Yes, definitely. Any trustee can make the enquiries, as well as any properly authorised third party. What I would do is the following - ask the trustees to sign a resolution authorising Dinette to represent the trustees in dealing with the insurance company so that she can make enquiries on the trustee's behalf - when the time comes. You could also entitle this a Power of Attorney, or such like. 

Q: What solutions can I propose to my father, that will reassure him my mother will get her insurance payout without having to add a trustee? --> The above suggestion. 

"To be honest, our family have been having issues and is divided in two. Me and my brother vs my father and mother. I am just not comfortable to sign to add another trustee, that will give my parents 3 vs 2 voting rights over me and my brother. And I am suspecious that my father is making excuses to add another trustee that will give them 3 vs 2 voting rights over me and my brother. Please let me know what you think." --> I was actually going to say that I think that this is EXACTLY what is happening! Your Dad is engineering a position where you guys will be out-voted in all decisions. 

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. 

Att. Patrick 

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