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Newsletter 41

Newsletter 41

Dear Colleague
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We have already experienced frost and icy cold fronts because of snow in Ceres and Sutherland and lately beautiful icicles in Ladybrand. These are welcoming familiar scenes among the unfamiliar circumstance we are facing because of the coronavirus lockdown.
There are a few positive changes under level 3 of the lockdown status, but normal business activities are still hampered because of limited service deliveries which impede normal day-to-day activities. Most personnel are still working remotely but be assured of our usual excellent service.

Apart from the negative economic effects caused by the lockdown, social distancing is a reminder to be thankful for all the numerous little and big things we have taken for granted for so long. A renewed realization that one should appreciate the beauty in each gifted day and to dearly treasure relationships and loved ones. We stay hopeful that things will change for the better with an overall positive curve, despite all the other negative news. A good strategy is to ignore the negative noise that bombards us from the media daily.
Are your clients’ Wills in order?
Nothing is certain except death and taxes, they say….
Generally, circumstances cannot be controlled. Our response thereto is still under our control though. Ensure that your clients take the time to make provision for the future of their loved ones in the form of a relevant and valid Will, should anything unforeseen happen to them.
Submit Will applications
Processing of Will have not changed and continue as before. We are ready to assist in the drafting of new Wills or amending of existing ones, still a totally free service where Legatus Trust is the nominated executor. Submit Will applications in the same manner as before the lockdown commenced.
Signed Wills
Please send your signed Wills to Legatus Trust for free safe keeping. The courier services are fully operational again.
TAKE NOTE:  Broker client base
Please inform Legatus Trust when you sell or hand over your client base to another broker. Provide us with the list of clients who have Wills with Legatus Trust, as well as a written confirmation of the agreement. This will ensure that the Wills are correctly linked to the new broker's profile and ensure a smooth transition.
Read more about this in the next edition

The courts are very clear that mere hostility and disagreement between trustees are not enough grounds to relief another trustee of his/her duties. What is the position though, if the majority of the trustees is authorised in the trust deed to request a trustee to resign and they exercise this right? Is it a valid removal of a trustee? In June 2018, his scenario was addressed in the Free State High Court in Bloemfontein in the case of Du Plessis NO and others versus Van Niekerk and others.
The court ruled that even though the wording of the trust deed may indicate that the majority of trustees may be correct in requesting a trustee to resign on request, it is not correct. There should be a good reason for a one-sided request for resignation and that this implied provision should be read into the contract. It was further ruled that the trustees who require the resignation also cannot claim that the provisions of the trust deed allow them to act without cause or in bad faith, because they are duty-bound to act reasonable and as good people.
A court further highlighted that, given the effect the resignation of a trustee has on the interests of the trust and trust beneficiaries, it is necessary that the correct procedural requirements be followed, which require that ample notice should be given of meetings and the issues to be considered.
In this case, the court accordingly ruled that the request from the majority of the trustees to a trustee to resign, was not valid. No good reason for the request was given, the necessary procedural requirements were not adhered to, or an opportunity provided for the trustee to give a representation.
Therefore, clearly a trustee cannot be requested to resign on trivial grounds and all the necessary procedures must be adhered to before the majority of the trustees can demand a resignation.

There will always be those eccentrics who have bizarre requests when it comes to, among other things, their burial wishes. Billie Standley from Ohio was one of these interesting characters. One cannot but salute him for his meticulous planning and chutzpah.
Billie loved to ride his Harley Davidson motorcycle which, over the years, took him all around the country, almost to every state. It was said that Billie was born to ride. So much so,
that his long-laid and elaborate funeral plans were 18 years in the making. He planned his exit from this world to the finest detail, planning to ride not only to heaven, but wanted the world to witness  it in his see-through casket. 
He bought three extra burial plots at the Fairview Cemetery, next to his wife, Lorna’s grave. This was big enough for the 9x6 foot cement tank which would be his last resting place. But he would not be there alone. This space would home himself together with his favourite motorcycle, trophies and leathers. His sons, Pete and Roy, built the casket with Plexiglas, reinforcing the bottom with wood and steel rods to handle the extra weight. In this casket Billie’s embalmed body would be astride his ’67 Harley Electra Glide, almost like riding into his grave. The casket sat in Standley’s garage for five years and he proudly showed it to anyone who stopped by his house.
When he died in January 2014 at the ripe old age of 82 years of lung cancer, his ride was ready and the procession went down the streets, undoubtedly attracting a lot of sideway glances and even some outright stares. But you cannot fault Billie for exiting in his own way and his loved ones honouring his last wishes.
Until next time.
“The Legatus Times” Team

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