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Review Your Trust




Thank you for visiting our web site.

In my work as a trust specialist I have found that the five common mistakes which people make when setting up a trust are:

  1. Being advised to have an independent trustee, but not being told that:
    1. All Trustees must normally be involved in every decision.
    2. To change or remove a Trustee is very expensive.
  2. Getting no practical running instructions, and therefore not knowing how to run the trust.
  3. Getting no template minutes for trust decisions, and therefore not knowing how to record decisions.
  4. Getting a Trust Deed only, and no Deeds of Loan, Deeds of Gift or initial minutes of Trustees.
  5. New wills leaving your assets to the Trust are not prepared.

There is no need for you to make these mistakes.

A Trust is a bit like a car. If you fail to maintain it, it can break down, and may fail to achieve your important objectives.

As your circumstances, and the law, change, trust documents need to be updated to reflect these changes. All too frequently Trust documents fail to cover what is to happen in a worst case situation, or have not been updated as circumstances or the law have changed.

Not only do you need a Trust Deed, but you also need:

  1. A Memorandum of wishes, containing your after death wishes for the Trust;
  2. Minute book and running Instructions
  3. Wills in most cases leaving your assets to the Trust.
  4. Enduring powers of attorney to cover your personal assets and your welfare decisions if you are incapacitated.
  5. Sale documents
  6. Gifting documents

The keep it simple principle is vitally important. I often find that clients are told they should have an "independent trustee", but are provided with no practical down to earth running instructions, or template minutes. This results in breaches of trust such as the "independent trustee" not being informed when money is taken out of the Trust or put into the Trust. The Trust's bank account is often used for personal purposes in breach of trust.

In the real world having "independent trustees" frequently results in breaches of trust. All trustees must normally take part in all decisions. If they do not the decision may be invalid. You should never have a rubber stamp trustee, and legally do not need to have an "independent trustee".

With detailed running instructions and draft minutes you can avoid the need for an independent trustee.

This page of our web site contains the information which you need in order to make an informed decision as to whether your trust and associated documents need to be reviewed and updated by a trust expert.

Step 1: Is to Identify and record your objectives.

Step 1 is to identify and record your objectives, and then assess whether the documents which you now have will achieve those objectives for you in a manner which you are happy with.

To do so you simply need to:

  • Download our asset protection planning questionnaire in word, or .pdf format, print it, and complete it as best you can. It is in reality no harder than getting together the information needed for a comprehensive will. While none of us likes thinking about our own death put simply we have no option but to do so.
  • If required see our instructions on how to complete the asset protection questionnaire . Each of us has different objectives. Unless we identify and record our objectives it is difficult to plan to achieve them.




Step 2: Gain a better understanding of the options open to you:

Watch our online DVD Success with Trusts from Internetvideos on Vimeo; or

Read our brochure "5 Common Mistakes Made When Setting Up Trusts.


Our experience from dealing with thousands of trust clients over the years is that after reading this brochure, or watching our DVD, you will have a far better understanding how to run the trust and make valid trustees decisions.


Step 3. See a trust expert.

Step 3: Is to see a trust expert, such as ourselves, who as part of their service provides you with easy to follow running instructions. We would like to offer you a one hour, free, no obligation session to discuss your unique individual situation.

Please call us now on + 09 415 0099 for an appointment on at date and time that suits you. For clients who live out of Auckland we can hold meetings via skype or telephone.

Before that meeting please send us your completed asset protection planning questionnaire by email (as an attachment) to rossholmes@rossholmes.co.nz.


Our promises

1. If you have a trust we can review it and the associated documents, and make sure that they have been well prepared, are up to date, and part of a comprehensive asset protection plan.

2. The trusts we form are no more difficult to run than your own affairs. While I studied trust law as part of my honours degree in law at University, and write the trust administration chapters of Lexis Nexis legal text book "Law of Trusts", what sets us apart from other firms is our unique detailed running instructions and draft minutes which have been developed as a result of many years of hands on experience in running my own trusts, and training our clients do so. As a result the trusts we prepare will work much the same as you presently do.

3. We are here to support you as required if you need advice. There is no need to have expensive independent trustees just in case you need advice.

4. There are no ongoing fees unless you consult us, and you are not tied to us in any way.



We look forward to meeting you, and assisting you to achieve your objectives.


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