Trust laws to change | What you need to know and do
If you have a trust or are a trustee, it’s really important that you know about recent changes to trust law in New Zealand.
The Trusts Act 2019 passed on 30 July 2019 and replaces the Trustee Act 1956. The Trusts Act puts into law the duties of trustees and requires much greater transparency around trust activity.
Trustees face increased compliance requirements.
Beneficiaries now need to be told that they are a beneficiary of a trust and regularly provided with information about the trust without them needing to request it. Information can only be withheld in exceptional circumstances.
If you’re a trust settlor or trustee you need to start administering your trust in line with the new law from 30 January 2021.
To get your Trust in order before the deadline we highly encourage you to start this process early. We will be contacting all trusts where we are a professional trustee to complete this review so watch out in your mail box next week.
To ensure that you are all up to date and ready for the changes, we recommend that you undertake a review of your Trust, associated documents and transactions to ensure there will be no issues when the new law comes in effect. We recommend thinking about whether:
you’re willing and able to undertake the increased obligations
Updating the Trust to ensure the beneficiaries who need to receive disclosure of Trust information are narrowed to those people you want to provide information to
the reasons for setting up the trust are still relevant
the trust will offer the same protection
the trust will still be cost-effective with the extra trust compliance requirements.
To get your Trust in order before the deadline we highly encourage you to start this process early. We will be contacting all trusts where we are a professional trustee to complete this review. If you would like to find out more, or need assistance please contact us on 578 5416 or your solicitor.