Highlighted Services

Registration of trusts

There are two types of trusts, namely the inter-vivos trust and the testamentary trust. The inter-vivos trust is created between living persons, whereas the testamentary trust is derived from the valid will of a deceased person. Follow this link for more information on trusts: http://www.justice.gov.za/master/trust.html

Steps to follow

To register an inter-vivos trust:

  • Register the inter-vivos trust at the office of the Master in whose area of jurisdiction the greatest portion of the trust assets is situated. If more than one Master has jurisdiction over the trust assets, final jurisdiction will rest with the Master of the office where the trust was first registered.
  • Submit the following documents to the Master:
    • A completed Acceptance of Trusteeship application form for each trustee (to be completed by the trustee)
    • A completed Form J344: Bond of Security if required by the Master for each trustee
    • All the requirements listed in Form JM21: Memorandum
    • The original trust deed or a copy thereof, certified by a notary
    • R100 – paid in cash into the Department of Justice banking account or at any Magistrate Court, stating the relevant reference number as set out in Chief Master's Directive 2012-01. Proof of payment must be attached to the submitted documents
    • The Acceptance of Auditor form, if applicable – J405.

To register a testamentary trust:

  • Complete and submit the following documents:
  • An Acceptance of Trusteeship for each trustee (to be completed by the trustee)
  • A bond of security by the trustees, if required by the Master – Form J344E
  • All the requirements listed in Form JM21
  • The last will of the deceased shall serve as the trust document, and no fees are payable.

On receipt of all the documents required, the Master shall issue the nominated trustees with letters of authority to administer the trust. No nominated trustee may act as trustee without written authorisation by the Master.

All financial statements must be kept and, if asked to do so, submitted to the Master. This may be required if the Master receives any queries about the administration of the trust.

Legal framework

Trust Property Control Act, 1988 (Act 57 of 1988) and related regulations are available on this page: http://www.justice.gov.za/legislation/acts/acts_full.html

Service standard

The time frame for registering a trust depends on the complexity of the application.

Cost

  • Inter-vivos trust:

    R100,00 - paid in cash into the Department of Justice banking account or at any Magistrate Court, stating the relevant reference number as set out in DoJ Circular 68 of 2009. Proof of payment must be attached to the submitted documents.

  • Testamentary trust: No fees are payable; and the last will of the deceased shall serve as the trust document.

Contact the office of the Master for more information. Contact details for the Master of the High Court Offices can be found on this page: http://www.justice.gov.za/master/contacts.htm

Forms to complete

All forms are available on this page: http://www.justice.gov.za/master/forms.html#trust

Contact details

Contact your nearest Master’s office (http://www.justice.gov.za/master/contacts.htm)

Master of the High Court, National Office: Customer Care
Tel: 012 - 406 4805
Fax: 086 544 4893
Email: Chiefmaster@justice.gov.za
Postal Address: Private Bag X81, Pretoria , 0001
Physical Address: 22nd Floor,SALU Building, 316 Thabo Sehume Street, Pretoria

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Updated: 2012/08/17