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Trustees need to manage beneficiaries' expectations on what they are entitled to from the trust and how and when they will receive it. 

Trusts can make income distributions, capital distributions or loans to beneficiaries. Read more…

New Zealand trust law to be overhauled

Parliamentary plastic surgery is in store for the Trustee Act, to make trust law easier to access and understand.

On 1 August, Justice Minister Amy Adams introduced the Trusts Bill to Parliament. This will be the first significant change since the introduction of the Trustee Act 1956. Read more…

Trustees selling or buying land or other trust assets have a duty to obtain the best price for the trust beneficiaries. Read more…

Trusts and the new property tax rules

Does your trust have an IRD number? Your trust will need one if it is buying, selling or transferring a property. Read more…

Does your trust deed need updating?

The Income Tax Act allows trustees twelve months after the end of the tax year to decide to distribute trust income. However, many older deeds have a clause saying that trustees have only six months after the end of the tax year to make their decision. Read more…

Tax risks for trustees

Trustees of New Zealand trusts are personally liable for the debts, unpaid taxes and other obligations of the trust. Read more…

Trustee duties

New Zealand's proposed new Trusts Act specifies duties of trustees and rules for providing information to beneficiaries. Even though the Act is not yet law, it is a good guide to best practice. Read more…

Why you need a Will

An up-to-date Will is one of the most valuable legal documents you'll have.

If you are an adult you should have a will, even if you have no or modest assets. Here's why?

  • You might have unexpected assets to be dealt with on death. For example, a life insurance payout or compensation arising from your death. Read more…

Distribution trap for trustees

Some trustees of New Zealand trusts have a misconception that payments to beneficiaries are loans unless the trustees declare them to be an income or capital distribution. This misconception arises from the practice of trustees waiting until after the end of the financial year to pass the annual minutes declaring an income distribution.

In fact, a payment to a beneficiary is a capital distribution unless  Read more…

Are you a passive trustee?

I was at a seminar today in which Justice Heath of the High Court of New Zealand presented on the topic of the passive trustee. He reminded us of the four irreducible duties of trustees which are:  Read more…

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