Trusts are increasingly coming under scrutiny and trustees are being pursued personally for failing to carry out their administrative duties properly. Inland Revenue and the Courts are now looking more closely at trusts and Inland Revenue has the power to look into trusts where a "sham" or tax avoidance is suspected. Furthermore, trustees can be held responsible to beneficiaries of the trust who suffer loss where the trustees have failed to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries.
This new Act aims to provide better guidance and understanding for trustees and beneficiaries by clarifying and simplifying the core trust principles and essential obligations.
The key changes include:
Providing core information to beneficiaries going forward;
Mandatory duties and obligations of a trustee;
Trustees are required to retain trust documents indefinitely;
The lifetime of a trust has been extended;
People with trusts will need to be prepared for when this new Act takes effect. We want to ensure that your trust is properly managed to lessen the risk of liability and to ensure that the benefits of having a trust are achieved. It is therefore important to review the provisions of the trust deed for your trust to ensure that it continues to comply with those law changes and/or any changes in your personal circumstances.
In particular, the issues we look at are:
It is also important to review your wills, memorandum of wishes, enduring powers of attorney and related documents to take into account any changes to your personal circumstances.
We highly recommend that we meet to discuss the changes and how your trust may be impacted.
We are available to you and are continuing as close to ‘business as usual’ as possible. Please call our offices to set up a suitable time for us to discuss your needs.
Phone: 09 915 4380