Unlike the Companies Act 61 of 1973, the Trust Property Control Act 57 of 1988, does not provide for the change of name of a trust. Section 93 of the Deeds Registries Act 47 of 1937, however, does provide the mechanism to record the change of name of a person or partnership. In terms of section 2 of the Deeds Registries Amendment Act 9 of 2003, a definition of "person" was included in the Deeds Registries Act, defining a trust as a person. In view of this definition, the Conference of Registrars in 2004 ruled that the provisions of section 93 of the Deeds Registries Act can be invoked to record the change of name of a trust (see RCR 13 of 2004). However, the change of name will only be allowed where proof from the Master of the High Court is provided as to the new name of the trust as well as the trust's previous name. The mere lodgement of the new letters of authorization, issued in terms of section 6 of the Trust Property Control Act, will not suffice for recording the change of name.
Except for the Conference resolution, it is still maintained that there is no enabling legislation sanctioning the change of name of a trust. It is submitted that the Trust Property Control Act should be amended to cater for this occurrence.
Readers' opinions on the above will be appreciated.
Although there is no enabling legislation to change the name of a Trust, there is no prohibition on this being done in terms of a resolution of the trustees provided the trustees have this power in terms of the relevant Trust Deed.
If amended Letters of Authority are produced, why should further proof of the change of name be needed? The amended Leters of Authority will show that the Trust (under its new name) has the same Trust number (Master's reference). Surely that is sufficient proof of the fact that it is the same legal "person"?