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Trusts and Estate Planning

We take a lot of trouble to ensure that we get married under ANC so that there are two separate estates and if one is bankrupt the other isn’t. Likewise we set up discretionary trusts to protect assets from creditors if one of us should be bankrupt. Signing surety destroys these protections.

The trust’s company is unlikely to be able to raise a bond unless you sign surety, so that one is pretty much unavoidable. What should be avoided is both of you signing surety, because that means that the marriage under ANC is also no protection. It is the directors of the company that always have to sign. If your spouse is not a director, then the bank has no right to expect him or her to sign and you should refuse. Also make sure that it is always the same one of you that signs all such suretyships so that the other estate is safe. Then ensure that the other estate owns whatever assets are outside of the trust.


  1. Hi I’m sequetrated from 2019, but signed surety by mistake not aware for bank overdraft and ccard, for my wife’s company, where she is the director. We both sign as Co principal on her name and my name. Signed surety unlimited. Plse help.

    1. Hi Johan,
      I think the best thing is to do nothing. Just hope that your wife’s company doesn’t default, because if that happened, then the (inadvertent) deception would be discovered. I suspect your signing was fraudulent, though I am not sure. I’m surprised that the bank didn’t pick up the fact of your sequestration as they would normally do credit checks.
      Incidentally, you are allowed to apply for rehabilitation after 12 months rather than waiting the full 10 years as I did.

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