The Trusts Act 2019 will replace the Trustee Act 1956 and the Perpetuities Act 1964 from 30 January 2021 (18 months after it received Royal assent). See http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2019/0038/latest/DLM7382815.html#DLM7382879.
The badly outdated Trustee Act 1956 and the Perpetuities Act 1964 have at long last been replaced by the Trusts Act 2019 which is designed to make trust law more accessible, clarify and simplify core trust principles and essential obligations for trustees, and preserve the flexibility of the common law to allow trust law to continue to evolve through the courts.
Key features of the Trusts Act 2019:
$1· a description of the key features of a trust to help people understand their rights and obligations;
$1· mandatory trustee duties and default trustee duties (which apply unless they are modified or excluded) based on established legal principles to help trustees understand their obligations;
$1· Clarifying that a trustee has an obligation to have regard to the context and objectives of the trust when performing their duties;
$1· requirements for managing trust information and disclosing it to beneficiaries (where appropriate), so they are aware of their position;
$1· flexible trustee powers, allowing trustees to manage and invest trust property in the most appropriate way;
$1· provisions to support cost-effective establishment and administration of trusts (such as clear rules on the variation and termination of trusts);
$1· options for removing and appointing trustees without having to go to court to do so.
$1· the abolition of the rule against perpetuities, and the setting of a maximum duration of a trust at 125 years;
$1· a requirement for any person paid to give advice in relation to the creation of a trust (such as a lawyer or accountant) to, prior to the creation of the trust, give specific advice to the settlor about:
$1o the meaning and effect of any modification or exclusion of a default duty; and
$1o the inclusion of any clause limiting or excluding the trustee’s liability for a breach of trust, or granting the trustee an indemnity against the trust’s property for the trustee’s liability for breach of trust;
$1· a requirement for each trustee to keep specified documents relating to the trust, including records of any decisions that they have made and contracts that they have entered into.
As a result of these major changes, all trust deeds need to be substantially updated.
Our trust deeds have now been updated to cover the new provisions included in the Trusts Act 2019 and in particular:
For the reasons detailed above it is essential that all trust deeds be varied and replaced with an updated trust deed.
A Trust is a bit like a TV. It becomes outdated and does not work well over time. If you fail to update it, it will breakdown, and may fail to achieve your important objectives. Our trust deeds have been changed substantially over the years to make them even safer, and to cover changes in legislation and case law.
As your circumstances, and the law, change, trust documents need to be updated to reflect these changes. Our latest trust deeds:
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