Die invloed van die stipulatio alteri op die inter vivos trust in die Suid-Afrikaanse reg: voorgestelde oplossings vir beter regulering

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Van Zyl, Rika
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University of the Free State
English: The deed of trust in terms of which an inter vivos trust is established is currently dealt with as a species of the contract for the benefit of a third party (stipulatio alteri) in South African law. Therefore, the stipulatio alteri serves as (an artificial) framework to explain the functioning of the inter vivos trust with reference to Roman-Dutch law. However, in the course of its historical development in South Africa, certain unsound consequences have been attached to the stipulatio alteri and, more particularly, the acceptance requirement, which have a significant impact on the understanding of the rights acquired by the third party to the agreement. A sound (accurate) interpretation of the stipulatio alteri is required to provide legal certainty regarding the consequences of acceptance, and the rights obtained by the third when (s)he accepts. Nevertheless, the unsound interpretation of the stipulatio alteri is currently utilised to assist in explaining the inter vivos trust in terms of certain contractual aspects of the trust deed, the beneficiary’s acceptance and concomitant rights, as well as the amendment or revocation of the deed of trust. This causes multiple problems for the functioning of the inter vivos trust, which have been exacerbated by the courts’ poor understanding of the functioning of the stipulatio alteri and its application to the inter vivos trust. An extremely uncertain application of the inter vivos trust has arisen as a result, particularly in respect of the beneficiary’s rights. In addition, sight should not be lost of the trust law features of the inter vivos trust. This requires a careful balance between, on the one hand, the fiduciary duty in terms of the law of trusts and, on the other, the contractual aspects. Apart from suggesting a potential sound interpretation of the stipulatio alteri, this research also proposes further solutions to the uncertainties and problems currently experienced in regulating the inter vivos trust.
Afrikaans: Die trustakte ingevolge waarvan ’n inter vivos trust opgerig word, word tans in die Suid-Afrikaanse reg as ’n specie van die ooreenkoms ten behoewe van ’n derde party (stipulatio alteri) hanteer. Derhalwe dien die stipulatio alteri as ’n (kunsmatige) raamwerk om die funksionering van die inter vivos trust aan die hand van die Romeins-Hollandse reg te verklaar. In die loop van sy historiese ontwikkeling in Suid-Afrika is onsuiwer gevolge egter aan die stipulatio alteri, en veral die aanvaardingsvereiste, geheg, wat ʼn wesenlike invloed het op die verklaring van die regte wat die derde in die ooreenkoms verkry. ʼn Suiwer (korrekte) vertolking van die stipulatio alteri word vereis om regsekerheid te verskaf oor die gevolge wat aanvaarding inhou, en die regte wat die derde daardeur verkry. Tog word die onsuiwer vertolking van die stipulatio alteri tans gebruik om die inter vivos trust met betrekking tot sekere kontraktuele aspekte van die trustakte, die aanvaarding en gepaardgaande regte van die begunstigde sowel as die wysiging of herroeping van die trustakte te help verklaar. Dít veroorsaak vele probleme vir die funksionering van die inter vivos trust, wat ook aangehelp is deur die howe se gebrekkige begrip van die werking van die stipulatio alteri en die toepassing daarvan op die inter vivos trust. Dit het ʼn uiters onseker toepassing van die inter vivos trust tot gevolg, veral met betrekking tot die begunstigde se regte. Voorts moet die trustregtelike eienskappe van die inter vivos trust nie uit die oog verloor word nie, wat ’n sorgvuldige balans tussen die trustregtelike vertrouensplig en die kontraktuele aspekte vereis. Buiten dat hierdie navorsing ʼn moontlike suiwer vertolking van die stipulatio alteri aan die hand doen, stel dit ook verdere oplossings voor vir die onsekerhede en probleme wat in die huidige regulering van die inter vivos trust ondervind word.
Stipulatio alteri, Inter vivos trust, Contingent rights, Vested rights, Acceptance, Amendments, Fiduciary duty, Living trusts -- South Africa, Contracts -- South Africa., Thesis (LL.D (Private Law))--University of the Free State, 2017