Terms of Engagement

  1. Introduction
    1. These Terms of Engagement outline the agreement between you and Public Trust regarding the products or services (‘services’) we will provide. In addition to these Terms of Engagement, there may be additional terms that apply in an associated Service Schedule or in an Engagement Letter.
    2. These Terms of Engagement, in combination with the Service Schedule and/or Engagement Letter are the full contract between us (‘contract’).
    3. If there is any conflict between the Terms of Engagement and the Service Schedule or Engagement Letter, these Terms of Engagement will prevail.
    4. Services
      1. We will provide the services described in this contract.
      2. You are responsible for determining that the services sought are appropriate to meet your needs.
      3. We may rely on the information that you provide and will not be liable or responsible for any extra time charged or costs that result from the inaccuracy of that information.
  2. Our commitment to you:
    1. We will:
      1. Discuss with you your objectives and how they should best be achieved.
      2. Act competently, in a timely way, and in accordance with the information and instructions you provide.
      3. Provide you with information about the work to be done and the way the services will be provided.
      4. Protect your privacy and ensure appropriate confidentiality.
      5. Treat you fairly, respectfully and without discrimination.
      6. Give you clear information and advice.
      7. Keep you informed about the work being done and advise you when it is completed.
      8. Charge you a fee that is fair and reasonable to both of us for the services we provide and let you know how and when you will be billed.
      9. Have a clear process for you to raise any concern you may have (which is outlined on our website) an will address these promptly and fairly.
  3. Your obligations to us:
    1. You agree that you will:
      1. provide, in a timely fashion, all information and assistance that we require to enable us to provide you services;
      2. provide information that is true, accurate and not misleading; and
      3. advise us if you become aware that any document or information previously provided is inaccurate or incomplete.
    2. You will be solely responsible for the accuracy and completeness of all documents and information that you provide to us. We will not be responsible to verify the accuracy or completeness of any information that you provide and we will be entitled to rely on that information.
    3. You can help us by:
      1. giving us clear instructions;
      2. asking if there is anything you are not sure of;
      3. telling us if you have any important time limits;
      4. dealing promptly with any questions we have; and
  4. Verification of identity
    1. Prior to being able to commence providing you services, Public Trust may need to verify your identity. We will inform you what information we require for the purposes of this verification. If you cannot provide all requested information, we may not be able to commence providing you the services and will have a right to terminate this contract in accordance with clause 12.
    2. Public Trust retains the right to not act on the instructions from a third party on your behalf until such time as we have verified the identity of that third party, in the same manner, and with the same rights of termination, as specified in this clause.
    3. Public Trust may terminate this contract if you do not provide us with sufficient information to verify your identity (which may include re-verification), in accordance with our requirements.
  5. Fees, Charges and Billing
    1. Our fees, charges and billing practices vary depending on the services we provide. All fees and charges are either:
      1. outlined on our website at http://www.publictrust.co.nz
      2. specified in an Engagement Letter or Service Schedule.
    2. Please note the fees listed on our website may change from time to time. Public Trust will not be required to provide notice of any changes.
    3. You agree that Public Trust may vary their fees and charges at any time, including once services have commenced.
    4. All fees and charges are payable in New Zealand dollars and are inclusive of GST unless we agree otherwise.
    5. If any invoice is not paid by the due date, we may charge interest at the rate of 15% per annum.
    6. Public Trust may engage third party legal providers or debt collectors to pursue recovery of unpaid invoices. You will be liable for all legal and debt collection costs that we may incur (including solicitor/client costs) in obtaining or attempting to obtain payment of our invoices, together with interest.
    7. If, at any time this contract is terminated, Public Trust may invoice you for the fees and charges incurred up until the date of termination, as well as for any additional costs that Public Trust incurs that are associated with ceasing to provide the services.
  6. Conflicts
    1. Our primary obligation is to you. In the event that we become aware of any likely conflict between your interests and those of Public Trust, we will disclose the potential conflict and take all steps which we are legally obliged to.
  7. Confidentiality
    1. We will hold in confidence all information concerning you and your business and affairs that we acquire in the course of providing you services.
    2. Subject to clause 11, we will not disclose this information to any person, unless you expressly or impliedly authorise us to do so, except to the extent required to provide you services as agreed in this contract, or if the information is already public knowledge.
  8. Privacy
    1. In providing services to you, Public Trust will need to collect your personal information. This will include for the purposes of undertaking customer due diligence and for the ongoing management of your relationship with Public Trust.
    2. Public Trust may use your personal information to provide you updates in relation to your services, as well as providing you general, promotional or marketing information regarding Public Trust and its other services.
    3. You authorise us to use any email address or phone number that you give us to communicate with you about the work we do for you. We may occasionally email you information we feel is relevant to you. If you do not want to receive that information, please let us know.
    4. Your personal information will be stored, used and disclosed in accordance with Privacy Act 1993 and the Public Trust Privacy Policy, available on our website. Any personal information you provide may be used or disclosed by Public Trust to assist us in complying with our legal obligations.
    5. If you do not provide the personal information requested by Public Trust, we may be unable to provide you the services.
    6. You are welcome to ask for, have access to, and check the personal information that we hold about you – and if you believe that any of it is incorrect, you can ask us to correct it:
      1. phone us on 0800 371 471, or
      2. email us at info@publictrust.co.nz; or
      3. visit a Public Trust Customer Centre.

  1. Indemnity
    1. You indemnify Public Trust, and will keep us indemnified, from and against any and all loss, damage or liability suffered, and legal fees and costs incurred, by Public Trust in the course of  providing you services which results from:
      1. any action we take on instruction from you; or
      2. your breach of these Terms of Engagement.
    2. This indemnity will not apply to any liability that has resulted from a breach or default by Public Trust in relation to its obligations and authority under these Terms of Engagement.
  2. Limitation of Liability
    1. Public Trust will have no liability for any errors, deficiencies or omissions in any work performed as part of the services that arise as a result of inaccurate or incomplete information provided to us.
    2. The liability of Public Trust under these Terms of Engagement is limited to the value of the fees paid to Public Trust for the Services.
    3. In no event will either party be liable for any indirect damages or for any lost profits arising out of or relating to a breach of these Terms of Engagement.
    4. Public Trust will not have any liability for any failure or delay in performing the Services because of an event beyond our reasonable control.

  1. Termination
    1. Public Trust may terminate the agreement arising from these Terms of Engagement immediately by written notice to you if:
      1. You breach any material term of the agreement (such as your undertakings) which in Public Trust’s reasonable opinion is not capable of being remedied; or
      2. You breach any other term of this agreement and that breach is not remedied within 5 working days of us notifying you of the breach;
    2. Either party may terminate this agreement at any time by giving the other party at least 10 working days prior written notice.
    3. If our engagement is terminated:
      1. any obligation Public Trust has to provide the Services to you will cease on the effective date of termination, unless otherwise agreed in writing;
      2. you will be required to pay Public Trust for all work performed up to the termination date and for costs associated with the termination; and
      3. to the extent required, we will transfer all funds and property held for you, and all relevant documents and information to you, or as directed by you,(subject to payment of all amounts due to us by you); and
    4. Nothing in this clause affects the operation of any other clause in these Terms of Engagement which are expressed or implied to have effect after termination of this agreement.
  2. How we handle complaints
    1. We will respond to any concerns promptly and fairly
    2. All concerns or complaints may be raised with your Public Trust relationship manager. Alternatively, you can contact us on:
      1. Phone: 0800 371 471
      2. Email: Feedback@publictrust.co.nz
      3. Address: Public Trust Customer Complaints, PO Box 13853. Christchurch 8140.
    3. We will review your complaint and work with you to address your concerns as quickly as possible.
    4. Both parties must use their best efforts to resolve any dispute through good faith negotiation.
    5. If we are unable to resolve matters through our internal process, you may wish to contact our external dispute resolution provider, Financial Services Complaints Limited:
      1. Phone:  0800 347 257
      2. Website: www.fscl.org.nz
      3. Address:  Financial Services Complaints Limited, PO Box 5967, Wellington 6145

  1. General
    1. Documents: Public Trust may retain copies of any documents which we consider necessary to comply with our legal and audit obligations.
    2. Sub-contracting: Public Trust is responsible for the provision of the services.  We may however sub-contract any third party to provide all or any part of the services.
    3. Assignment: Public Trust may assign its rights and obligations under this agreement.  You may not however assign your rights and obligations under this agreement except with our written consent.
    4. Waiver: No failure or delay on the part of any party in exercising any power or right under these Terms of Engagement will operate as a waiver, nor will any single or partial exercise of such right or power preclude any other or future exercise of any right or power under these Terms of Engagement
    5. Entire Agreement: This contract sets out the entire agreement between the parties in relation to the matters that it deals with and supersedes and invalidates all previous letters, agreements and understandings (oral or written) in relation to those matters.
    6. Variations: These terms apply to any current and all future engagements. However, we may vary these terms from time to time and, if we do so, the varied terms will appear on our website www.publictrust.co.nz.
    7. Intellectual Property: We retain copyright (to the extent permitted by law) in all documents prepared for you. This includes our trust deeds, wills and other documentation provided to you. You must not provide our advice or documents to others without our written consent.
    8. Invalidity of terms: Any illegality, unenforceability or invalidity in these Terms of Engagement will not affect the rest of these Terms of Engagement which will remain in full force and effect.
    9. All things necessary: The parties will execute and deliver all documents and do all things necessary for the proper and complete performance of their respective obligations under these Terms of Engagement.
    10. Jurisdiction: These Terms of Engagement and the agreement arising from them are governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of New Zealand.

Service Schedule

  1. The terms in this Service Schedule must be read in conjunction with the Terms of Engagement and any applicable Engagement Letter.
  2. The service descriptions described below provide a general outline of what services Public Trust will provide. These may change depending on your particular requirements – though such changes will be agreed with you in person prior to the commencement of service delivery.

Estate Planning

  1. Once Public Trust’s Terms of Engagement have been agreed, we will meet with you for an initial consultation, either on the phone or in person. The purpose of this consultation is to discuss your requirements, provide you advice on your options, and take instructions on your specific circumstances.
  2. At the conclusion of the initial consultation you will be provided an estimate of the cost of the services required, and you will be required to pay an initial amount as outlined on the Fees page on our website.
  3. If, at the conclusion of the initial consultation you decide not to proceed with obtaining the services through Public Trust, you may be required to pay a cancellation fee as outlined on the Fees page on our website.  
  4. Public Trust will perform work based on your instructions. If it takes longer to complete this work than was estimated at the initial consultation, your approval will be sought prior to incurring any additional fees.  Payment of any additional fees may be required prior to additional work proceeding.
  5. You will be required to pay all outstanding fees prior to receiving an executed copy of any deliverables, such as a Will, Trust Deed or Enduring Power of Attorney.  
  6. If you do not proceed with finalising any deliverable, you will still be liable to Public Trust fees for the time spent in providing advice and preparing the uncompleted documents.
  7. If Public Trust acts as your Executor, Trustee, Attorney, the fees and charges listed on our website, at the time we act will apply. These fees are subject to change.