Fiduciary Services

A fiduciary is a person who, when appointed, has a legal duty to act in your best interest. At BDO Wealth Advisers we pride ourselves in our independent and trusted advice, provided over the past 30 years by our legal advisers, CFP® Professionals and FPSA® Professionals to ensure that both in your living years, and after, your family, wealth and wishes are protected. Taking your wealth beyond your living years and ensuring your legacy.




As trustee, you act in a fiduciary capacity for the benefit of beneficiaries. Your primary role is therefore to act independently according to the terms of the trust deed/trust estate and in the best interest of beneficiaries. The essence of your duty as trustee is underpinned by the governance and administration of the trust in accordance with the Trust Property Control Act and the specific requirements of the trust deed. As Trust Administrator, our objective is to provide the trustees with peace of mind that all aspects of good governance, compliance and administration have been addressed and are up to date.

We believe that by helping you get to the right solutions for the administration of the trust, we will be able to make a significant contribution to your role as trustee.

From registering the trust to compliance of the trust, we help ease the burden of your trust responsibilities.

As Trust Administrator, we guide you to ensure the adoption of best practice in governance for the trust, specifically ensuring that:

  • resolutions are drafted and maintained
  • meetings are scheduled, and minutes recorded
  • an asset register is recorded and maintained
  • annual financial statements are prepared timeously; and
  • all tax compliance (returns and submissions) are prepared and submitted as required.







A secure, central database of all trust related documentation and information, including trustees, beneficiaries and connected persons data and contact details. 

The Trust Portal gives Trustees online access to a library of resolution templates, agreements and documents to facilitate efficient recording of all actions and decisions taken by the trustees.

In addition, a conference call facility is available for hosting and recording of trustee meetings. Audio file records are permanently stored on the BDO Trust Portal for future reference.




I’ve been nominated Executor to my parents deceased estate, I have no idea where to start? How do I ensure that my Will is executed correctly on my death? Can I appoint a fiduciary professional as agent to the Executor?

Losing a loved one is a state of life that is characterised by a range of mixed feelings, emotions and grieving. As Fiduciary Professionals, we are able to provide you with peace of mind that the administrative tasks of winding up a deceased estate will be efficiently and effectively addressed by BDO Wealth Advisers. We provide complete service offering in winding up deceased estates, from supporting of deceased estate administration. As Executor or Agent to your nominated Executor, we focus on the administration behind the scenes which allows you time to focus on your family’s needs.

How do we deal with the Master of the High Court? What is BDO’s role with the Master of the High Court in this regard?
The Office of the Master of the High Court regulates and oversees the administration of estates. Their Office imposes strict standards to assure the Public and those affected in the administration of an estate that their legal and financial interests are protected. BDO Wealth Advisers interacts and liaises with the Master of the High Court at various stages of the estate administration process.  The role and duties of an Executor are quite extensive and task specific. An executor is responsible for executing all the winding up processes in preserving, disposing and managing all aspects of a person’s estate which consists of assets and liabilities and thereafter distributes the residue to the beneficiaries. The duty of an Executor includes and extends to ensuring adherence with the formalities prescribed by all relevant and applicable legislation. Legislation also imposes time frames which must be complied with.
What are the duties and scope of work of an Executor of an Estate?
  • Primary responsibility and accountability for the efficient and effective winding up of the deceased’s estate in terms of their last will and testament.
  • Act with due care and diligence to ensure efficient and effective winding up of the deceased’s estate in terms of their last will and testament.
  • Initial consultation with immediate family to gather information and explain the process of winding up a deceased estate.
  • Preparation and completing of all reporting documents that need to be lodged at the Master of the High Court. 
  • Obtaining Letter of Executorship from the Master of the High Court for our appointment.
  • Opening a banking account in the name of the Estate Late with Nedbank Corporate Cash Management (using the BDO Cash Management agency with Nedbank).
  • Liaise with all debtors and creditors of the Estate, advising of the death, and obtaining certificates of balance and lodging details of claims, respectively.
  • Preparing Liquidation and Distribution Account/s of the Estate Late for examination by the Master of the High Court. The Liquidation and Distribution Account is effectively a summary of the Estate’s net position of assets and liabilities as well as the net income earned by the Estate from date of death until final distribution of the estate to beneficiaries. 
  • Advertising both the Notice to Creditors and the Liquidation and Distribution Account advertisements in appropriate newspapers, as well as the Government Gazette;
  • Liaise with SARS in order to advise of the death, attend to the completion and submission of all outstanding income tax returns and obtaining a tax clearance certificate confirming that the deceased’s tax affairs are in good standing. 
  • Preparing any renunciations or redistribution agreements as may be required between heirs and the Estate. 
  • Attending to any queries from the Master of the High Court; 
  • If applicable, preparing all documents and instructions to register a Testamentary Trust as provided for in the will and obtain Letters of Authority from the Master of the High Court. 
  • Preparing a SARS Estate Duty Return and making payment of Estate Duty if dutiable within one year of death.  
  • Liquidating and or transferring all movable and immovable property, including investments, as provided for in terms of the will to the heirs. 
  • Distributing the estate in terms of the will, including making payment of inheritances to heirs. 
  • Attending to the Master’s final requirements and obtaining confirmation from the Master of the High Court that the estate has been finalised.


How do I make sure my business assets go to the correct person and that I get fair value on my death? How do I protect my hard work and make sure my family are protected should anything happen to me?

We can provide you  with legal advice on your buy and sell agreements, business succession plan, co-habitation agreements, family trusts, estate planning, guidance on business partner and shareholders’ insurance and more.


How do I ensure that my wishes will be carried out upon my death? I’m unsure as to what scenarios could play out on my death with respect to my wealth and responsibilities?

Let us help you plan for any eventuality.  We will coach you through possible scenarios that could have an impact on the management and distribution of your wealth at and after death, while minimizing estate duty, generation skipping transfer of wealth and income tax. Our experienced Legal Advisers and Fiduciary Professionals will draft your traditional and digital Will to capture your wishes and appoint your guardians and executors.