Articles by The Professional Trustee Team

New Trust Legislation

Thursday, September 28, 2017
A new bill is making its way through Parliament which is going to see changes made to the current Trustee Act.  All those with an existing trust should be aware of the implications imposed and the opportunities this new bill will bring when it becomes law. Further details will be presented at our Trust Seminar on 11 October 2017.

Currently it’s envisaged that when the bill becomes law:
• A trust will likely have its ‘lifetime’ extended up to 125 years, which is much better than the current 80 years.
• Legal duties trustees have to satisfy will be enshrined, making it clear for all trustees what they need to do in order to uphold the integrity of the trust.
• It has been proposed that beneficiaries would have the legal right to know their position and be provided with certain information. If this becomes legislation, it would be a double-edged sword for settlors and trustees. For example, possibly beneficiaries would need to be told they are indeed beneficiaries of a trust. This could then lead to them making demands upon trustees for particular information, such as copies of financial statements. However, this point is under review at present. We’ll canvas this thorny issue, the pitfalls and how to handle the matter at our event

This new wave of legislation is making it more vital than ever that trustees have an independent trustee on their team who truly understands the types of law impacting upon their trusts, and who can advise and guide them with transactions and documentation.

In addition to this, anti-money laundering legislation requires professional trustees to track basic information about all stakeholders in a trust, including who the beneficiaries are and their addresses. Trustees will also need to report any material changes in the trust to financial institutions and, where applicable, the government. GRA will be implementing changes in its trustee client base over the next year to ensure all clients, trustees and beneficiaries complete the necessary forms and processes to ensure their trusts remain compliant.

To ensure you are equipped, come to our Trust Seminar in Auckland on October 11