Articles by The Professional Trustee Team
30 July 2019 was an important milestone in the land of trusts. That was the date the Trust Act 2019 became law in New Zealand.
One of the objectives of this new law is to provide for greater transparency and accountability by trustees to beneficiaries. This objective is underpinned by trustee duties now being codified.
Whilst it may seem an obvious point to make, it should nevertheless be made... in order for a beneficiary to hold a trustee accountable, they must first know they are indeed a trust beneficiary. Prior to this new enactment, many people would be unaware they were beneficiaries of a trust. This is because trustees did not have a positive legal duty to inform a person of their position. The new Act has reversed this position entirely, however, mandating trustees have positive duties of disclosure to honour.Pursuant to the newly introduced statute, trustees must now inform people if they are a beneficiary of a trust. This includes fixed and discretionary beneficiaries. Furthermore, trustees must provide specific information to beneficiaries. Whilst trustees have a legal right to withhold information, this will prevail only in very exceptional circumstances.
This letter is to express my appreciation for the assistance and encouragement of both Anthony Lipscombe and particularly John Heaslip over the last financial year. The period since activating my trading trust has been one of considerable stress, as well as personal development, as I embarked on this as a relative business neophyte with virtually no awareness of the contemporary requirements of running a business, particularly the financial records aspect. During much of this period I have therefore felt considerable out of my depth. However I have been lucky enough to have had the benefit of the advice and support of John Heaslip in rationalizing what was a fairly chaotic set of records of the first year property trading. I am able to say that John in particular, has been unstinting in his attention to my needs and has done so in a manner which has never alluded to my extremely rudimentary grasp of managing a business, or even of being unable to set out a spread sheet properly. The result of the above guidance is that now, although my trading trust would still not be able to operate without the advice of GRA, I do least feel a sense of satisfaction that I have got to my present point without major disaster and that my property trust does now have some kind of firmer basis for any future activities - Name withheld by request
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