Trusts and your legacy
The story of your life's achievements can be told in two ways. The same goes for setting up a trust.
Your life story
Your life can be autobiographical or biographical.
An autobiography is your life story in your own words. You decide what to write and can change it as you like.
A biography is still your life story, but written by someone else.
A trust leaves a legacy and expresses your vision and specific intent. It's like a biography or an autobiography.
What is a trust?
A trust is an arrangement through which ownership of what's yours can be transferred to one or more other people, the trustees. Following the trust rules you drew up, they manage or dispose of assets on behalf of beneficiaries.
Why get a trust? A story needs an ending. A trust is the final chapter, safeguarding your wealth, helping you grow it and ensuring assets are passed on effectively and efficiently.
Establishing this type of trust is like writing an autobiography. Writing your own story means that your intent is clear and adjustments can be made. This trust is established while you, the founder, are still alive.
The Inter Vivos Trust is created through a trust deed and names the founder, trustees and beneficiaries. An inter vivos trust also defines powers given to various people, the duties of the trustees and how and when the trust is to be finalised.
This type of trust is like a biography. Someone else finishes your story. This kind of trust is outlined in a will and created after your death. Its drawback is your story might not end as you intended.
Usually created in a will, it comes into effect after your death. It's often used to protect assets until your beneficiaries reach legal age. If the will is invalid for a reason like fraud or undue influence, the trust will not come into effect.
Protect your beneficiaries
The structure of your trust determines how your assets are passed on to beneficiaries, and how these beneficiaries are protected. Factors such as leaving assets to a young child will have an impact on the ultimate decision.