Maryna holds the BA, LLB, LLM degrees and is a Director at the Cape Town branch of STBB. She is an admitted Attorney, Notary Public, Conveyancer and Insolvency Practitioner with many years of experience in the fields of property law, conveyancing and the laws relating to corporate compliance (especially in respect of the FICA and POPIA laws). Up until 2018 she was also head of the firm’s national marketing portfolio. She is a seasoned public speaker and presenter, both in person and online. She prepares text for the majority of STBB’s internal and external publications and is editor and co-writer for two pivotal publications in the South African real estate industry – the ABC of Conveyancing (JUTA) and Delport’s South African Property Law and Practice (JUTA).

Thought of the Week | Trusts are not child’s play

In the recent matter of Smith v ABSA Bank Limited, the court noted that “(T)his case yet again demonstrates the need to be careful when dealing with a trust.” In this instance, judgment that was obtained against a surety was successfully overturned after the surety showed that the loan agreement between the trust and the bank had not been signed by two trustees, as required in the trust’s founding documents. This rendered the loan invalid and the suretyship followed the same fate, it being “a trite principle of law that a surety’s obligation is an accessory obligation, and for there to be a valid suretyship there has to be a valid principal obligation between the debtor and the creditor.”

Many property practitioners deal with trusts on a daily basis, whether as purchasers, sellers, borrowers or grantors of rights. It is important to remain vigilant of the special requirements pertaining to dealings with and by trusts, to avoid invalidity.

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