Lexis® Practical Guidance: Trusts, Wills and Estates

Why Lexis® Practical Guidance: Trusts, Wills and Estates?

Users get direct access to critical, up-to-date information and guidance that they can rely on.
Lexis® Practical Guidance Trusts, Wills and Estates is a web-based solution that keeps legal professionals abreast of the ever-changing estate planning and trusts landscapes.

This Practice Area helps users steer through the practicalities of forming a trust, preparing a will and implementing an estate plan from start to finish. Lexis® Practical Guidance Trusts, Wills and Estates covers the formation, types and general principles of a trust, the creation of wills and the principles that govern them, as well as processes involved in the administration, liquidation, distribution and tax-calculations of an estate.

Lexis® Practical Guidance Trusts, Wills and Estates provides downloadable forms and detailed precedents of various letters, notices and applications, that are styled for easy use by practitioners, founders, trustees, beneficiaries and legal advisors. Users also have direct access to practical examples, relevant legislation and precedent-setting case law that are applicable to trusts, wills and estates.

With Lexis® Practical Guidance Trusts, Wills and Estates you get:

Convenient online access to:
  • 30 Topic Overviews and over 110 Guidance Notes
  • 150 Forms, Precedents and Checklists – ensuring not a single step is missed
  • Legislation & Case Law – access to relevant cases at the click of a button
  • Practice Directives – practical advice on how to interpret the rules of court
  • Over 50 other useful resources such as external websites and additional readings

Guidance on each step taken in civil procedure:
  • Forming a trust
  • Registering of a trust for tax
  • Creation of a will and the governing principles
  • Reporting the estate
  • How to calculate estate tax
  • Outline of the liquidation and distribution account
  • Formalities in making donations
  • Identifying and distinguishing claims

Guidance Notes

Direct access to relevant case law, legislation and commentary works, and practical know-how on specific areas within Trusts Wills and Estates. A few key guidance notes are outlined below, the full list can be viewed in the table of contents.

Registering of a trust for tax

Deals with High Court Rule 43, wherein a spouse can obtain interim relief while the divorce process is pending. It provides customers with precedents of Notice in Terms of Rule 43, Notice of Bar, and Rule 43 Application.

What is a Trust?

This guidance note covers what a trust is, the essential elements of a trust and a range of relevant case law that will assist in the separation of trust assets and the controlling of a trust.
It also provides key resources such as:

  • A table comparing trusts to other entities
  • Guidance on the control before and after a trust is formed
  • Guidance on the legal position relevant to control before and after a trust is formed.

This guidance note can be used as a training tool for candidate attorneys, junior attorneys or attorneys who have not practised in this sector before.

The Formalities of Making a Will

This guidance note discusses:

  • The formalities involved in making a will
  • The requirements for completing a will in order for it to be valid in terms of the Wills Act
  • The consequences if the formalities are not complied with.

Practical Aids

Precedents, checklists, flowcharts and forms to offer advice confidently and execute tasks accurately. A few key resources are listed below, the full list can be viewed in the table of contents.

  • Letters of Authority – from the Master of the High Court and without which the person attempting to wind up the estate will not be able to do so.
  • Liquidation and Distribution Account – a complete example of the liquidation and distribution account that provides insight of what the account would look like, and includes a scenario which was used to prepare the liquidation and distribution account.
  • Sample 1 – Mutual Will Specific Bequests – a template of a will that can be used, and one that caters for special bequests to be made to certain beneficiaries.
  • Redistribution Agreement – a template that already contains all the legal aspects involved and can simply be filled in.
  • Letter to Master Requesting Extension – a sample letter that already addresses all the Master's queries and can be used when requesting an extension from the Master for submitting the liquidation and distribution account.
  • Step-by-step guide to complete your trust return via eFiling
  • Example of income tax return for a trust (ITR12T)
  • Sample clauses – trustee qualifications


  • Form IT77TR – Application for registration as a taxpayer or changing of registered particulars: trust
  • Resolution of trustees – appointment of new trustees
  • Form J401 – Trust registration and amendments
  • Appointment of new trustees
  • Form J417 – Acceptance of trusteeship by trustee
  • SARS: guidance on making the application to SARS (website)
  • Deed of donation inter vivos immovable property
  • First Interim Report on Estate Duty
  • Testate succession vs intestate succession
  • Simple will
  • Example of collation
  • Form J294 – Death notice
  • List of creditors
  • Chief Master's Directive 2 of 2015
  • Documents required for the appointment of an executor
  • Example of estate duty calculation and apportionment thereof
  • Items to include in a redistribution agreement


Roger Green
Margaret McCullough

BCOM LLB (University of Natal, Durban)

Although primarily a specialist in property law, Roger Green has many years' experience in assisting clients in establishing trusts, drawing up wills and planning their estates. Roger is a partner at Cox Yeats, having joined the firm in 1973. Roger has served on the Council of the KwaZulu-Natal Law Society for many years, and on provincial and national law society committees, such as the committee on Competition Law. He is a past Chairman of the Standing Committee on Property Law matters of the Law Society of South Africa.

BA LLB (University of KwaZulu-Natal)

Margaret McCullough is a senior director at J Leslie Smith & Company, specialising in the administration of deceased estates, the drawing of wills, formation of trusts and estate planning. Margaret serves on the Estates Complaints Committee and is an active member on the Master's Office Liaison Committee, which serves to enhance the communication between the Durban and the Pietermaritzburg Master of the High Court offices.

Keren Watson
Simon Watson

LLB Degree - summa cum laude (University of KwaZulu-Natal)

Keren Watson is a partner at Cox Yeats, practicing in the Commercial & Natural Resources Law Team. Keren is experienced in drafting and negotiating commercial agreements and memoranda of incorporation, corporate restructuring, formation of trusts including family, employee and community trusts and advising on consumer protection law, company law and general business law issues. Keren is also the author of the LexisNexis publications: A Practical Guide to the Companies Act and Butterworths Forms and Precedents: Companies Volumes 1 and 2 and co-author of Butterworths Forms and Precedents: Companies Volume 3.

LLB LLM (University of KwaZulu-Natal) (Commercial Law)

Simon Watson is a partner at Cox Yeats, focusing on Commercial Law and Commercial Litigation. Simon has experience in managing commercial and corporate transactions and high profile disputes involving company restructures and rights linked to land, water and electricity. Simon is also the author of Commentary and Precedents for Partnerships and Joint Ventures in Butterworth Forms and Precedents Volume 3 and a contributor to the LexisNexis Guide to the Promotion of Access to information Act.

Jenna Padoa
Spencer Cason

LLB, LLM - summa cum laude, cum laude (University of KwaZulu-Natal)

Previously an Internal Legal Counsel at a leading multinational FMCG company in South Africa, Jenna Padoa is now a partner at Cox Yeats, practicing in the Commercial & Natural Resources Law Team. Jenna is experienced in a broad range of commercial legal work, including mining and environmental law, company law, trust law and consumer protection law.

LLB (University of KwaZulu-Natal)

Spencer Cason is an Associate at Cox Yeats in the Commercial & Natural Resources Law Team. Spencer is experienced in general commercial work, including the drafting of agreements and dispute resolution and is keenly interested in estate planning and trust matters.

Time is scarce and the law is ever changing. Keeping pace with the shifts is a job unto itself but, chances are, it is not your only job. 

Curated by top South African legal experts, LexisNexis® Practical Guidance™ helps you navigate dynamic legal terrain by delivering practical aids for your everyday concerns in one convenient platform. 

It saves you time and energy so you can focus on the expertise that only you have.

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