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Newsletter 40

Newsletter 40

Dear Colleague
Because of the rise in the death toll associated with the coronavirus, there is no better time than right NOW to ensure that your clients’ Wills are in order.
As the night air is becoming colder and winter approaching fast, some of your clients are also in the winter season of their lives and it is important to make sure that their last wishes are recorded in a valid Will.
Tomorrow is a gift, not a promise.
We have some good news regarding the progress to level 4 under the lockdown restrictions.  Our offices are open for normal day-to-day activities, but with limited staff as allowed under this level.  Most personnel are still operating remotely.
The necessary protocols are in place to ensure a safe and secure environment for our employees and our clients.
Please make use of the usual channels for requesting the drafting or amending of Wills and the reporting of estates.  We are ready and eager to be of assistance to you.
Courier services are also available again. If there are no other arrangements in place regarding the delivery of signed Wills to Legatus Trust, they can be couriered to your allocated Legatus service office using the following addresses:
Legatus Trust, Third Floor, Roan House, 263 Kent Avenue, Randburg, 2194; or
Legatus Trust, Third Floor, Imperial Terraces, Carl Cronje Drive, Bellville, 7530.
Please discuss the delivery of original signed Wills with your Legatus marketers, Dawie Roux or Marie Eksteen.
Unfortunately, our services regarding the administering of estates are still hampered because of limited service delivery by the Master’s office, Deeds office, SARS and several other businesses which are not fully operational yet. This is causing a ripple effect of delays which in turn is creating an enormous backlog in the workplace.
The Master’s Office is still operating with minimum officials on duty. Therefore, only mails as provided on their website must be used to curb the number of people entering their offices. Because they are not fully staffed, it will take time for them to deal with new matters as well as the backlog of old matters. This requires a great deal of patience on everyone’s part as normal turnaround times will not be adhered to.
JHB: 010 210 5200 / 086 172 2626
CPT:  021 914 4924/5
Clientèle Estate Preservation Plan (CEPP)
We remind you of the Clientèle Estate Preservation Plan (CEPP) which is designed to assist in ensuring that your clients’ last wishes and legacy are realised. The plan protects the financial interest of the estate’s beneficiaries from the costs associated with the winding up of the estate.  Click  here to read more on the CEPP or visit our Blog for more information
We have almost reached the halfway mark in our competition launched for loyal brokers who support Legatus Trust on a continuous basis. The prizes up for grabs were announced in our October 2019, newsletter No 34. Just a reminder of the criteria and weightings: 
  • Number of new signed Legatus Wills in safe custody during the competition period – 80%
  • Number of estates and “buite boedels” (referred outside estates)* administered by Legatus Trust during the competition period – 20%.
*Points for estates are based on one base point for each R10,000 of executor fees earned during the competition period.
It is still open season with just over six months to go!

Read more about this in the next edition

A mortis cause trust or testamentary trust is created in terms of a Will of a deceased person.  The Will, in these cases, will be the Trust Deed and the testator/trix will be the founder.  A testamentary trust’s inception date is the date of death of the testator/trix.  Specific instructions to the trustees regarding the administration of the trust will be included in the trust clauses in the Will.  A typical reason for creating these trusts are for the protection of the interest of minors or dependents who are unable to take care of themselves.
The executor of the estate will make over and/or pay the inheritance of a minor/dependent to the trustees of the trust, who will administer the trust as per the instructions in the Will.  This type of trust usually terminates at a pre-determined time or event, i.e. when the beneficiary/ies attain a certain age.
Usually, the terms of a testamentary trust cannot be amended. However, the Trust Property Control Act 57 of 1988 (the Act), grants our courts the power to amend a trust deed in the following instances: 
  • should a provision bring about consequences which, in the opinion of the court, the founder of a trust did not contemplate or predict, and which hampers the achievement of the objective of the testator;
  • prejudices against the interest of the beneficiaries; or
  • conflicts with public interest. 
In early 2018, a High Court decision was made that a variation of the provisions of a testamentary trust was valid. It was brought about by agreement between the trustee and the beneficiaries. That implies that even though a trust is established via a Will, it does not prevent the trustees and beneficiaries from agreeing to an amendment of the trust clauses. The court further stated that if the testamentary trust gave a trustee the power to decide when to terminate the trust, it also implies that the trustee has the power to amend the trust deed.
The Act expects trustees in exercising their powers, to act with the care, diligence and skill which can reasonably be expected of someone who manages the affairs of others. Should a trustee decide to amend the provisions of the trust, the trustee’s authority will have to be exercised in accordance with the Act.
Bear in mind that even though trust provisions in a Will can be changed/amended later, it will come at a cost.  The best cause of action is to ensure that the trustees are allowed ample discretion to enable them to manage and, if necessary, amend trust provisions in the Will, should circumstances warrant such changes/amendments.
Sources:  Cilliers & Reynders Inc., E de Vos

Fredrick Baur invented the Pringles can with its uniform shape, size and colour chips in 1966.  Although it did not take off so well in the 60’s era where people had fun looking for big chips, small chips and oddly shaped chips, it was a revolution within the realm of snack food.  It led to a burst of innovation in supermarket product packaging.
It is not strange then that Fredrick Baur wanted to be buried in a Pringles can. It was after all his brilliant invention, so he could rightfully take it to his grave. When he died in May 2008, his children honoured his wish and stopped at Walgreen’s for a burial can of Pringles on the way.  Debating on the flavour, his son Larry, aged 46 at the time, said: “Look, we need to use the original.”
Until next time.
“The Legatus Times” Team

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