Estates, Wills & Trusts

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GCM Legal offers services in matters relating to Estates, Wills and Trusts.

Our Estates, Wills & Trusts Services Include

  • Estate planning
  • Wills
  • Winding up of Deceased Estates
  • Drafting Trust Deeds
  • Registration of Trusts

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Estates deal with the nett worth of a person at any point in time during and after their life. It is the difference between a person’s assets of any kind (including, legal rights, interests, and entitlements, property, investments, cash, etc.) and all their liabilities at that time. The circumstances of a person’s Estate have particular legal significance with regard to the question of that person’s insolvency and death.

Last Will and Testament is a legal instrument (or document) through which a person (the Testator), expresses their wishes as to how their assets (including, interests, property, shares, vehicles, Jewellery, etc.) are to be distributed at their death.  It also names one or more people to manage the estate (the Executor) until the Estate is completely distributed.

If someone dies without a Last Will and Testament their Estate is distributed according to the Laws of Intestate succession; as such a Will is an essential part of Estate Planning.

We have compiled a Wills Glossary with commons terms and words, if you are looking for more information, click here.

Trusts can be a very useful tool in Estate Planning; in the eyes of South Africa Law, a Trust is a separate “person” with its own rights (similar to a Company). A Trust is established through a Donor/Founder for the benefit of the Beneficiaries and it is administered by the Trustees.  It comes into existence by Registration of a Trust Deed.  A Trust can receive assets (donations) or acquire assets (purchase), which assets are then utilized by the Beneficiary as the Trustees deem correct.

Trusts can be created in 2 ways:

  • During the lifetime of a person (Inter Vivos Trust)
  • Upon Death in terms of a Last Will and Testament (Mortis causa Trust – Testamentary Trust).

Other Practice Areas

Commercial Law

The rights, relationships, and conduct of individuals and businesses engaging in commerce, trade, sales and merchandising.

Private Law

The rights an individual has and how an individual can protect these rights (e.g. protect and secure their assets).


The process of seeking relief from the Courts (or other authorised institutions) by initiating legal proceeding.

Estates, Wills & Trusts

Solutions to plan and protect your Estate and assets including drafting Last Will and Testament, registration of Trusts.


Solutions for financially distressed companies and individuals that need a fresh start or efficient restructuring.

Property & Conveyancing

Transferring ownership of properties and solutions to disputes relating to properties.

Insurance Law

Resolutions and litigation involving issues relating to insurance, including insurance policies and claims.

Road Accident Fund

Have you or someone you know been effected by an accident involving a motor vehicle?  Trust GCM Legal to handle your RAF claim.

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Featured Legal Articles

Estates, Wills & Trusts

Glossary of Legal Terms

Glossary of Legal Terms

This article will provide explanations for many of the legal terms and words you will find on this website.

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