JOHANNESBURG – Often estate planners sign trust deeds without reading them first. This creates a huge risk, as many trust deeds are "copied and pasted" and do not reflect the wishes and personal circumstances of estate planners and their families.
One particular aspect the estate planner has to pay attention to is the appointment and removal of trustees.
Unintended consequences may arise if the trust deed automatically removes a trustee. This may have dire consequences, as the estate planner, who may have been appointed as a trustee, might be automatically removed and then lose the ability to participate in trust decisions.
The Trust Property Control Act (Section 20(2)) also contains provisions empowering the Master of the High Court to remove a trustee. A trustee can be removed by the Master: