How can I shift all the assets of one trust into another?
I guess the first question is why would you want to? I can’t think of many good reasons, but these are thoughts that come to mind –
- Your trust is registered as a taxpayer and you’ve read my book “16 Steps to Wealth”. Now you know that you were ill advised and prefer a trust that is not registered.
- Your trust doesn’t actually exist, because the initial cash donation was never made or banked. Now you want a valid trust.
- You have a messed up structure in the old trust and can’t figure out a way to clean it up.
- Your trust deed was “drafted” (read copied and pasted) by an attorney. You’ve read my book “16 Steps to Wealth” and realise that it is a load of rubbish. You want a clean trust with a clean, well drafted trust deed.
The last of the above can now be resolved simply by submitting a replacement trust deed to the Master’s office, so we can skip that one.
OK, so now we have three reasons to form a new trust and move all the assets over.
Step 1. Make the new trust and possible new companies that it owns beneficiaries of the old trust. This requires the consent of the founder and all the trustees.
Step 2. Distribute all the assets to the new beneficiaries, tidying up the old structure as you go. There may be taxes such as CGT or Transfer Duty involved.
Step 3. Ignore the old trust and don’t bother to submit any more tax returns. The trust will simply gather dust in the Master’s office. SARS may beat a few drums, but that’s what SARS does, and it’s a waste of time.