There are a large number of family trusts in New Zealand and it is commonly accepted that many of these are managed by the family themselves with little or no professional advice. Parliament is now considering a new Trusts Bill which will update and improve the general law governing trusts. If the bill is passed what will that mean for your Trust and will your Trust stand up to the new rules?
The Bill seeks to promote the efficient administration of trusts. The administration of your Trust can be the single factor in your favour should your trust be challenged for whatever reason. A professional can work with you to ensure that the terms of the Trust are met and that there is adequate documentation.
Trustees and Trust documentation:
All trustees must hold the trust deed and any variations. One trustee must hold all trust documentation. Often this documentation is held by a number of different lawyers and accountants, most of which who have worked on this in the past. This needs to be pulled together into one place with at least one Trustee having full access. Is this your responsibility? Trustee’s mandatory duties should be clearly noted.
Beneficiaries and Perpetuity:
If the bill is passed beneficiaries are going to be entitled to access Trust information, subject to some exemptions. Do you know who the beneficiary of your Trust are? Now is the time to review who is a beneficiary of your Trust to ensure your siblings’ ex-spouse is not requesting Trust information! The perpetuity period of a trust (duration) is being increased to 125 years – it is currently 80 years. Existing trusts, if they have the power to do so and if it suits the circumstances of the trust, will be able to change to this new longer period after the bill is passed.
If you need assistance in documentation and administration of your trust, piecing together historical documentation, figuring out each trustee’s responsibilities or would like professional insight or opinion, contact us today!
At Haven, we can assist you with Trustee Services, Trust Administration, and Trust Reviews. For a limited time, we are offering a free 20-minute trust consultation with one of our experts. To find out more and book please contact us on 0800 700 699 or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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