Understanding trusts

Trusts are often thought of as being the foundation of estate planning. A trust can give you control of what happens to your wealth after you pass away. Trusts allow you (the settler) to transfer ownership of assets to the person/people (trustees) who will manage and take control of your assets. In some cases, trustees may even decide on the benefits each beneficiary will receive.

There are many types of trust and each one is different. Our specialist wealth and financial planners can discuss and plan the right one for you.

Why you need a trust

Key reasons:

  • It can ensure the smooth transfer of your wealth and assets from one generation to the next
  • The directors of a limited company must file certain documents every year, including ltd company annual accounts and an annual tax return.
  • It gives you control of how your assets are distributed when you pass away

Key people involved in a trust

The settlor

The person transferring assets into a trust for the benefit of others.

The beneficiaries

The people who can benefit from the trust.

The trustees

These are the custodians of the assets in the trust. They take control of the assets, manage them and, in some cases, decide on the benefits provided to beneficiaries.

Tax considerations for trusts

The tax consequences of your trust will vary as it is dependant on your residence, domicile and nationality.

Estate duty

Trusts do not pay estate duty. This means that all growth in the assets occurs in the trust, and not in your own estate, which generates tax savings in the long term.

Capital gains tax

Capital gains tax may be higher in a trust, it is an excellent estate planning tool.

Income tax

Income tax is payable at a flat rate of 41%.


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Sable Private Wealth Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority 222501. Sable Private Wealth (Pty) Ltd, an authorised FSP, is regulated by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority under licence number 48122.