• What is a trust

A trust exists where a founder hands over to a trustee the control of property which is to be administered for the benefit of the beneficiaries.

  • What are the requirements of a Trust Deed
  • Founder(s)’ full name, ID numbers, and address
  • Trustees’ full names, ID numbers, and addresses
  • Beneficiaries’ full details
  • Proposed name of the Trust
  • Details of trust objects (i.e properties to be donated to the Trust)
  • Registration fees

  • Is there any other legal process that has to be done after the registration of the Trust?

Once the Trust is registered, properties that were donated to the Trust should be transferred into the ownership of the Trust. This process can be done at any stage after the trust is registered. Should someone die before the transfer is done, this process will be finalized through the Master’s office.

Since a Trust is a separate legal entity that exists independently of its founder, it has the capacity to own, buy, dispose and donate properties.

  • Are Trustees paid remuneration for their services?

This depends on the terms of the Trust Deed but family trusts’ trustees do not necessarily have to be paid. The Trust Deed stipulates whether they will be paid allowances for expenses incurred while doing services for the benefit of the trust.

  • Who can be appointed as Trustees?

A family trust is a creation of a family and therefore, the founder nominates and appoints trustees of his choice. The board of trustees may also be given powers to appoint trustees for the duration of the trust and the trust deed provides the procedures to be followed in coming up with the rightful candidates. If the trustees cannot appoint the trustees for whatever reason, the court can be roped in to assist and obviously, regard will be given to the provisions of the trust.

  • Who supervises and monitors Trustees?

The Trust Deed sets out the parameters by which Trustees are expected to abide by. It sets out their obligations and duties to the Trust, and if they do not abide by them they will be removed from their position as trustees. They may even be sued by the trust itself or its beneficiaries for overstepping or for being negligent in the execution of their duties and obligations.

  • Who has the mandate to dissolve a family trust?

A family trust is normally given a lifetime by the founder and the details of the dissolution in terms of the procedures to be followed will be well stipulated in the trust. Normally, however, a family trust is given perpetual existence so as to benefit generations and generations to come after the passing of the founders and this can happen without impediments.

  • Is it necessary to have a will when you have a family trust?

 A trust can be a way to plan an estate before one passing hence it can serve the same purpose as a will in an even better way. A trust allows for the exact description of the beneficiaries of an estate and even better is more difficult to challenge in court than a will which can easily be challenged in court for its invalidity.

  • How long is the registration period?

Once you furnish your Notary Public with all the information required in terms of clause 2 above, the process takes 7 working days to be completed. However, there are slight delays sometimes.

This is for information purposes only.

Prepared by Marufu Attorneys-at-law, 96 McChlery Avenue, Eastlea, Harare 0242788 148

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