Common reporting standards for Trusts – a brief explanation…

Are you are a trustee, beneficiary or settlor of a trust or have an investment portfolio managed for you or are involved in a company that is handling money for clients? If so you are likely to receive, if you have not already, some self-certification forms to complete and sign.  These forms require you to state details of the countries in which you pay tax and your tax number for each of those countries. This is a result of the […]

Family Trusts: Memorandum of Wishes – how binding are they?

The growth in the number of discretionary family trusts currently being set up by families has made it more important for the trustees of those trusts to have some directions as to the settlors’ intentions regarding the distribution of trust assets. The common use of ‘Memoranda of Wishes’ is one way the Settlors have chosen to identify for the trustees the settlors’ intentions by creating an additional document to be read alongside the trust deed.  The Courts have reviewed a […]

Common reporting standards for Trusts

Are you are a trustee, beneficiary or settlor of a trust or have an investment portfolio managed for you or are involved in a company that is handling money for clients? If so you are likely to receive, if you have not already, some self-certification forms to complete and sign.  These forms require you to state details of the countries in which you pay tax and your tax number for each of those countries. This is a result of the New Zealand […]

How new Anti Money Laundering (AML) legislation affects our clients

New  Zealand has passed a law called the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (“the AML/CFT law” for short). The purpose of the law reflects New Zealand’s commitment to the international initiative to counter the impact that criminal activity has on people and economies within the global community. Why we need to ask you for information Recent changes to the AML/CFT Act mean that from 1 July 2018 lawyers must comply with its requirements. Lawyers must do a […]

What is a family trust and do you need one?

When you buy a house or start a family, you may start thinking about setting up a family trust. Family trusts are arguably a New Zealand social institution, but is a family trust right for your situation? In this article, we’re looking at the pros and cons of having a family trust. What is a family trust? The most important point to remember is that a trust is a legal entity. However, family trusts do not have to be publicly […]

An unexpected role for the independent trustee?!

Claims against property owned by trusts can be made by strangers to the trust according to the principles laid down in Lankow v Rose.[1] These constructive trust claims have recently become more common where a disappointed husband or wife (including de facto) finds upon separation of matrimonial property that the other party’s trust stands in the way of access to a share of property used in the relationship. Essential to such claims is proof of the making of contributions to […]

How safe is my Trust?

Many Trusts are set up to protect family assets including homes farms and investments, but are drafted so that a degree of control is retained for the person who set up the Trust.  That person may also be a beneficiary named in the Trust Deed. The control is usually to be found in the power to appoint and sometimes remove trustees, and to add and remove beneficiaries.  This can be dangerous, as Mr Clayton found in a case[1] which reached […]

Do I need to make a Will?

As property lawyers, we are frequently encouraging our clients to either make a Will or update an existing Will. For many of our clients, this exercise is tedious and seems unnecessary until they understand the consequences of not having a current Will. A person who dies without a Will has their estate distributed to their successors under the provisions of the Wills Act 2007. This produces some surprising results, and in particular, divides the estate between the surviving spouse and […]