Trust Bill FAQs
Frequently asked questions about the Trust Bill
What is changing in NZ trust law?
The Trust Bill aims to make trust law more accessible for New Zealanders. It will increase beneficiaries’ rights and raise the bar on what’s expected of trustees.Find out more about What is changing in NZ trust law?
What if I know my circumstances have changed, and I suspect that I need to wind up my trust?
If you know that your circumstances have changed, we can have a chat with you about your options going forward; and make recommendations to you regarding your trust. If you decide that you would like to wind up your trust, we can assist you with this.
What about an inheritance trust that I have set up, which will only become active and have assets once I die; do I still need to inform the beneficiaries about this trust?
It may be that you have set up an inheritance trust for all or some of your children that will not be active yet. An inheritance trust will be subject to the same requirements that family trusts are, and beneficiaries will be required to be informed of their rights under the trust at the earliest possible time after the trust is created or for an existing trust by the time the new requirements come into force. If you do not want to inform the beneficiaries of their rights under the trust, then it may be a good opportunity to think about if an inheritance trust is still the right option for you, or you may decide that an inheritance trust is no longer the best thing for you and your family, and wind up the inheritance trust and update your will at the same time to better reflect how you would like your estate to be administered.
When do we need to start informing beneficiaries of basic trust information?
If you have decided that you would still like to have your trust in the future, you can start informing beneficiaries of the basic trust information straight away. That way, once the enforcement date comes around, you know that you have already met those disclosure requirements.
I want the trust to continue, but I don’t want to be a trustee anymore because it’s going to cause me unnecessary stress?
You may find that under the new requirements, particularly in relation to trustee’s duties and obligations to keep beneficiaries informed, you no longer wish to continue in your role as trustee. In this case, the person who has the power as Protector (called Appointor in some trust deeds), may exercise their power to remove you as trustee, and where Public Trust is currently co-trustee, Public Trust can continue as sole trustee. As your professional trustee provider we will ensure that the trust is being run to the new standards, and we will keep you informed along the way.
What if I want the trust to continue, but I don’t want to have an Annual Trust Meeting?
It is best practice that the trustees are meeting on at least an annual basis. This is to ensure that all decision making is documented, and the trust is being administered correctly. The Trust Bill makes it more important than ever for us as a trustee to be informed of what is happening with the trust and ensure that we have regular contact with the co-trustees, and are kept informed of the beneficiaries’ circumstances and current contact details.
What will it cost to have my trust reviewed?
Every trust is different. The fee for reviewing your trust depends on the complexity of the work involved. We take the most effective and efficient route to achieving your review. Our hourly rates are priced from $200+GST per hour for an Associate Trustee to $350+GST per hour for a Senior Solicitor. Our specialists can give you a price estimate when they meet with you.
What will it cost to exit my trust?
Every trust is different. As with the trust review, the fee for reviewing your trust depends on the complexity of the work involved. There may also be disbursements for asset transfer depending on the work we undertake, for example, LINZ registration if there is a property involved, etc.