No enduring power of attorney

Most people are now aware of the importance of having an enduring power of attorney (EPA).

Accessing the assets of a trust

When a marriage, civil union or de facto relationship breaks down, the couple will usually divide their property according to the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 (the PRA).

Validating imperfect wills

What can be done? For wills to be valid they must comply with a number of legal formalities; they must be in writing and there must be two witnesses who...

How do I bring my trust to an end?

The process It has been estimated that there are between 300,000-500,000 trusts in this country. Trusts have been established for many different reasons, including estate planning, creditor protection, to ensure...

Do I still need a trust?

It’s good practice to review its purposeIf you have a family trust set up a number of years ago, it’s good practice to review it to ensure it is still...

Do trusts pay trustees’ litigation costs?

We assume this will be the case, but as a trustee or executor, you aren’t always entitled to be reimbursed for your litigation costs.

Resolving the messy business of parental care

There comes a time in life where a certain amount of role reversal takes place between children and parents.

The choices that come from a difficult separation

Losing a spouse or partner is very sad and difficult, and not a time most people want to have to make important legal decisions.

Do you really want to be a trustee for life?

All trustees have tasks and duties that have to be performed on a regular basis, even in small family trusts.

What you need to do to retire as a trustee

If you’ve agreed to act as trustee for a friend, family member or another entity, you’ll be aware that signing up is a relatively easy process.

A practical approach to trusts

The Trusts Bill introduced on the 1st August this year updates the Trustee Act 1956 and reflects decisions made about trusts in common law.

What happens to rural property when relationships break down?

More to the point: what happens if your property is held in a trust? Trusts are arguably a New Zealand institution for ensuring property is passed on to specific beneficiaries,...

It’s your inheritance. Here’s how to keep it.

A legacy or a gift in a will can significantly change your life, personally and financially.

Is your business prepared for life after death?

Although many of us don’t want to consider this question, it is very important as most owners want their business to survive them.

The Trusts Bill: What will it mean for you?

Last December, the draft Trusts Bill was released for public consultation. Resulting from recommendations in a Law Commission report, the new Trusts Act will replace the Trustee Act 1956 if...

Red Alert: Farm trustees are now accountable for workplace health and safety

Many farms operate using trusts, but the changes to the Health and Safety at Work Act now make individuals accountable. Farm trustees, that’s you.

Trusts under attack!

Trusts are used in many ways, but often their purpose is to protect assets, including claims by former spouses and partners.

Is New Zealand a potential tax haven?

This question is in the government’s spotlight. The problem is foreign trusts. A foreign trust is a trust held in New Zealand where all the settlors live outside New Zealand.

As a trustee, what information do you have to provide to beneficiaries?

Trustees are obliged to provide certain information to beneficiaries, but how much? This question has been a continuing source of frustration for trustees, especially those who find their discretionary decisions...

Company or Trust

The two most common farm-owning entities are either a company or a trust. Often, a farming operation is carried out with a mix of trust ownership (typically owning the land)...

IRD numbers required for trusts to buy and sell residential property from 1 October 2015

This could cause a problem for any trust if the sale or purchase is due to settle after that date.

Companies acting as corporate trustees: 28 October is a critical date

As from 28 October 2015 a company must have at least one director who either: lives in New Zealand, or lives in Australia and is a director of a company...

Complying Trusts

Help is here for a settlor who leaves New Zealand. In New Zealand we have a settlor-based tax regime.

Should you change your trustees? Always good to review

If you set up your trust some years ago, it may be time to consider whether the trustees you appointed are still right for the role.

Worthy Causes

Many people consider leaving money to charity by their Will. This can be their whole estate, or just a specific amount or part of an estate.

Section 21 Agreements and Trusts

Marriage, in the eyes of the law, is a largely – although not entirely – outdated institution; it’s now ‘relationships’ that are important.

Duties of an Attorney under an Enduring Power of Attorney

Often people agree to accept the appointment as an attorney under an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) without really understanding what’s involved and what will be expected of them.

FATCA and New Zealand Trusts

The US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) has been in force in New Zealand since June 2014.

Dying without a will?

Most people know that it’s important to have a Will and to keep it up to date.

Common Intention Constructive Trusts

The widely publicised separation and property dispute of Sally Ridge and Adam Parore saw the High Court consider the concept of a common intention constructive trust.

Importance of an 'Independent' Trustee

The law requires all trustees to act independently and impartially. The term ‘independent trustee’ is used to describe a trustee who does not benefit from the assets of the trust.

All Trustees Must Sign when Dealing with Trust Assets

“When establishing a family trust that usually owns your family home and some investments, the usual ‘mum and dad’ trust has you and your partner as trustees, together with an...

Gift Duty Abolition

The government has announced it will abolish gift duty from 1 October 2011 citing the cost of gift duty compliance (estimated to be $70 million pa) significantly outweighs government revenue...

Risks for Trustees

The Pike River Mine tragedy has changed the way in which health and safety is thought about.

When a Trustee Loses Capacity

With New Zealand’s ageing population, more and more people are losing mental capacity as they grow older.

Looking into the Election Crystal Ball

With an election coming up this year we thought it would be interesting to turn our minds to what impact this election, or the next, may have on how you...

Signing on Behalf of Trustees

Trustees sometimes need to sign documents in a hurry. An example is bank mortgage documents which may need to be signed so that the trust can borrow to cover expenditure.

Family Trusts and the Family Protection Act 1955

Under the Family Protection Act 1955 (FPA), parents have a moral duty to provide in their Wills for their children’s maintenance and support.

Rest home care

After gift duty comes to an end from 1 October, one thing will still be clear: you can’t give everything away to a trust and then expect to rely on...

Rest home subsidies and the abolition of gift duty

Recently, much has been made of the government’s intention to do away with gift duty from 1 October.

Rush to Trust - or Maybe Not?

With the abolition of gift duty taking place on 1 October 2011, commentators are already predicting there will be a rush to transfer assets into trust, or to complete any...

Abolition of gift duty: Implication of family trusts

The announcement in October that the government intends to abolish gift duty will affect all people with current gifting programmes in place after the transfer of ownership of property into...

Trustee Nearly Bankrupted by the Construction Contracts Act

Taking on a trusteeship of a family trust has significant responsibilities and can have severe implications, something that many people do not realise when they agree to be appointed to...

Running a Family Trust

The Sunday Star Times recently published an article about Do-It-Yourself family trusts and how failure to manage them correctly can put the integrity of a trust at risk.

How is a Trust's Income Taxed?

Income earned by a trust can be either retained by the trust or it can be distributed to the trust’s beneficiaries.

Bankruptcy and Trusts

The present economic downturn has thrown up the problem of what to do when a settlor and/or a trustee becomes bankrupt. This article looks at possible remedies for both situations.

Loans and Capital Distributions to Beneficiaries

In the last issue of Trust eSpeaking (September 2008), we discussed the scenario that often occurs when trustees provide funds to beneficiaries, for example, to help in the purchase of...

Trust Busting

There is considerable power held by the courts to make orders under the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 (PRA) if relationship property has been transferred to trustees.