A “potential beneficiary” of a family Trust had previously been permitted by the Trustees to access a holiday farm owned by the Trust (through a company) but, after a falling out with his family, was denied access to the farm by the Trustees. The court emphasised that Trustees have an obligation to treat all the beneficiaries even-handedly. It stated that as a beneficiary, the claimant had a right to be protected against arbitrary and discriminatory treatment and found that the Trustees unfairly discriminated against him by denying him access to the holiday farm. This case is important in that:

  1. It confirms that even “potential beneficiaries” may enjoy certain rights under the law, especially where they have previously benefitted from the Trust;
  2. Trustees have an obligation to treat all the beneficiaries even-handedly;
  3. Trustees must act impartially and cannot allow their personal feelings to exhibit themselves in discriminatory treatment of a beneficiary.

For more information on this case, read below:

Griessel NO and Others v De Kock and Another (334 of 18) [2019] ZASCA 95 (6 June 2019) rights of contingent beneficiaries who have accepted benefit like using trust property

Griessel NO and Others v De Kock and Another (334 of 18) [2019] ZASCA 95 (6 June 2019) SUMMARY rights of contingent beneficiaries who have accepted benefit like using trust property