Articles by The Professional Trustee Team
Trusts hail from medieval times and one can be forgiven for thinking current trust law has been on our statute books since that time too. A combination of legislation, common law judgements and equity maxims result in the law being antiquated and complex.This frequently makes trust law difficult to comprehend and, in some cases, problematic to apply. To remedy these ills, a Trust Bill is currently tracking its way through Parliament. It's already had its second reading on 9 May 2019 and is presently with the Committee of the Whole House.
This will make it easier for all trustees to appreciate and perform their roles and will enable beneficiaries to understand the scope and nature of trustees' obligations. Some duties will be mandatory. Others will be able to be modified. Consequences for breach of duties will be clearly stated. This may result in greater time and cost being incurred by trustees on matters and activities they're undertaking.2. Life of Trust Extended
The statute will lay down the documents trustees must keep. These are expected to be the deed of trust, deeds noting changes to trustees, documents altering provisions of the trust deed, documentation describing the trust's assets and liabilities, records detailing trustees' decision-making, accounting and financial statements, and memoranda of wishes to name but a few. Trustees will need to hold these documents throughout their term and then pass them onto new trustees when they themselves retire. This will lead to the need to store and access trust documents, which for many lay person trustees, will be burdensome.4. Beneficiaries to be Advised
The new legislation will change our trust law and bring increased certainty and transparency I believe. The statute will in no way be a complete codification of law but will undoubtedly be an improvement on the prevailing patchwork of branches of law we currently have to work with. In the first instance I expect trustees will need to consider the statute's implications to the trusts under their control and in the second, diligently ensure they meet their trustee duties, which we can help with at GRA.
I found Matthew Gilligan’s Property 101 and Tax Structures 101 to be superb books for the following reasons: 1. They contain a wealth of information about property investing and related tax matters; 2. The commentary is very rounded and balanced; 3. They are filled with financially savvy practical tips and red flag warnings; and 4. The relatively informal style, use of short case studies and anecdotes to illustrate points, and the clarity of presentation make the books very reader friendly. The above combine to make two books that are educational, thought provoking and inspiring. I only wish I had access to this information much earlier. - Geoff W - April 2016
If you're investing in residential property, seeking to maximise your ability to succeed and minimise risk, then this is a 'must read'.
Matthew Gilligan provides a fresh look at residential property investment from an experienced investor’s viewpoint. Written in easy to understand language and including many case studies, Matthew explains the ins and outs of successful property investment.