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Please note our office is closed during the Government Lockdown period. Our team are working reduced work hours the best they can, please expect delays in email responses and at times reduced functionality due to working remotely. For any urgent queries, please contact Phil Smith, 027 520 1494 (preferably during working hours) Our thoughts are with you. […]

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Our office is currently open by appointment only. You can contact the team via email or phone to arrange an appointment. While the team are working reduced hours, please note the response time may be delayed. You can phone Phil during normal business hours.

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Inland Revenue scrutiny of property transactions has resulted in $12.5 million in tax bills for property traders and speculators last year. The department is tasked with identifying property dealers and speculators who should have paid tax on the gains they make from buying and selling properties. A spokeswoman said its current focus was on identifying […]

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News » New Trusts Act 2019: What you need to do

If you’re protecting your family property in a trust, there may be changes you need to make before the new
Trusts Act comes into force on January 30th, 2021.

The changes to the Trusts Act (the first in more than 60 years!) aim to make trust law more efficient and
accessible, lower admin costs, simplify core trust principles and essential obligations for trustees, and make it
easier to resolve disputes.

While it might seem an eternity away, 2021 will whip around quickly, so here’s what you need to do.
1. Review your trust: Meet with your accountant and/or lawyer to review arrangements for your trust.
There might be opportunities to improve your tax structure, reduce your risk profile and better your
family’s financial situation.
2. Revisit your succession planning: The new legislation has extended the maximum lifespan of trusts by 45
years, to 125 years.
3. Presumptions: There will now be a presumption made that trustees will notify beneficiaries of basic trust
information. Including the fact that they are a beneficiary of the trust. Trustees must now consider
whether there are any factors that would allow them not to apply this presumption (such as whether the
information is personally or commercially confidential, or whether the information will impact family
relationships, in the case of family trusts). The consideration of whether the presumption applies should
be made at regular intervals.
4. Be prepared for beneficiary requests: The new law means most trust beneficiaries will be able to request
financial reports on the state of the family trust and find out ‘who gets what’. Be prepared for extra
admin, costs and possibly damage control if you’re having to avoid family issues around distribution of
funds.

Know your mandatory responsibilities as a trustee:
• Knowing the terms of the trust
• Acting according to the terms of the trust
• Acting honestly and in good faith
• Holding trust property
• Acting for the benefit of the beneficiaries or the permitted purpose
• Exercising trustee powers for a proper purpose

Default duties: Default duties are obligations by which trustees must abide — unless the settlor decides
otherwise when the trust is established. Default duties can be modified or excluded if this is how the settlor
wants to set up a trust. This is an area we would highly recommend reviewing.

Find out more at this link: https://nzlaw.co.nz/news/trusts-act-2019/

“The expectations and risk of an independent trustee are nowadays akin to that of an independent director.”

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