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South African trust law is based on the law of contract and
particularly stipulatio alteri. This means the SA Trustee enters
into an agreement with a settlor to hold trust assets for the
benefit of the beneficiaries of the trust. This position is very
different to the common law trusts of Guernsey and Jersey ("CI
Trusts"), which are underpined by equitable principles. In CI
Trusts, the legal title of the property is held in the name of the
trustee who has a legally enforceable obligation to the
beneficiaries of the trust to comply with the terms of the trust
and act in the best interests of the beneficiaries. CI Trusts,
unlike a SA Trust, are not registered with any local authority and
come into force once the trust deed is executed.
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Article originally published May 2020
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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