Can you deregister or terminate a Trust?

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October 7, 2019
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October 7, 2019

There is no provision in the Trust Property Control Act, 1988 that requires the deregistration of trusts.

However, this said, it does not mean that a trust can never be terminated, as there are a few events that can occur during the lifetime of the founder, the trustees or the beneficiaries.

When considering the termination of the trust, the first step will always be to turn to the provisions of the trust deed.

Some of the most common provisions are:

  • that the trust assets have been distributed to the beneficiaries;
  • it may terminate after a certain period of time or upon the happening of a specific event;
  • the discretion of the trustees or through a resolution passed by the beneficiaries;
  • once its primary objective has been achieved; and
  • when it becomes impossible to achieve its main objective.

For the termination of a trust, the following documents are required:

  • resolution by the trustees confirming that the trust was active or dormant and that the bank account in the name of the trust has been closed;
  • The original letter of authority;
  • Bank statements reflecting a nil balance or the final statement;
  • Proof that the beneficiaries have received their benefits; and
  • An affidavit by the trustees confirming that the trust has been divested of all its assets.

Upon receipt of the above documents, the Master will deregister the trust. Please note that the above documents must be lodged with the Master with whom the Trust has been registered.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)