Trusts / Asset Planning

Who do you have to provide for when you die?

Created: Monday, 28 June 2021 15:46


Family Protection Act

For the most part, while you are alive, you can choose what you do with your property. However, people often do not realise that when you die, the law recognises a ‘moral duty’ to certain family members. It also offers remedies for those family members if you do not sufficiently provide for them on your death.

Potential Claimants

The Family Protection Act 1955 specifies who can make a claim for provision from a deceased’s estate. These people are:

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Tax, Trustees and Trusts - Things to Consider

Created: Tuesday, 08 June 2021 12:09

Just when you thought you had complied with your mandatory trustee duties under the Trusts Act 2019 – there is more!

Tax reporting obligations

New tax reporting obligations have been introduced for trusts that earn income, with effect from 1 April 2021. The new requirements are included in the Taxation (Income Tax Rate and Other Amendments) Act 2020, which amends the Tax Administration Act 1994. There is also a power for retrospective information gathering, so trustees may need to provide similar information going back as far as the 2014 tax year.

While these obligations only apply to trusts that earn income, a range of different documentation must be provided, which will require timely, complete, and accurate record-keeping. The information that must be provided to the IRD includes:

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A Legal and Voluntary End of Life Choice

Created: Tuesday, 11 May 2021 09:13

The End of Life Choice Act 2019 (“the Act”) will come into force in November 2021. To date it has been the subject of emotive support, criticism, and misinformation. The focus of this article is on the law as it presently stands.

The key points to note are:

  • Any decision you make about whether you want to use the Act’s processes, or not, cannot be made in advance.
  • A decision cannot be made for you by your family members, or medical staff. This means your wishes on using the processes outlined in the Act, or not, cannot be included in your will, or your advance medical directive / living will.
  • The Act cannot be used by people “wanting to turn off your life support” or make medical decisions for you when you cannot make them yourself.

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Trustee Considerations for Disclosure - Whether and What to Disclose

Created: Friday, 05 February 2021 13:52

In our previous article on trustees’ disclosure to the beneficiaries we summarised the requirements of the Trusts Act 2019 (the Act) in relation to disclosure.   This article provides trustees with more detailed guidance on how they should approach disclosure to beneficiaries. 

There is a presumption in the Act that the trustees must disclose basic trust information to every beneficiary or representative of a beneficiary, and trust information to beneficiaries who request it.

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Do I Need a Contracting-Out Agreement?

Created: Friday, 20 November 2020 15:15

Do any of the following ring a bell?

  • I’ve just met someone, and things are moving fast
  • We’ve been together a while now, and are talking about moving in together
  • We’re living in my house, and renting out the other one
  • Looking after my kids is a full-time job, and my partner works in the family business
  • After everything that’s happened, I didn’t expect to meet someone again
  • I’m spending a fair bit of time renovating the rental property – just as well I’m a builder!
  • We met at university, but I gave up my career to focus on the kids
  • I help out with the accounts and the odd day here and there in the business
  • My friend’s marriage has just ended – it got messy, and really made me think
  • Trusted friends are suggesting I see a lawyer to get advice
  • I’ve inherited a nest-egg, and we want to use it to do-up the house

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Trustees' Disclosure of Information to Beneficiaries - Trusts Act 2019

Created: Friday, 06 November 2020 10:13

The Trusts Act codifies beneficiaries’ rights to certain trust information to help beneficiaries ensure that the trustees are complying with their duties and the terms of the trust. There is a presumption that the trustees must disclose basic trust information to every beneficiary and trust information to beneficiaries who request it. In the case of beneficiaries who are minors or who lack capacity, the information must be given to a parent, guardian, attorney, or property manager.

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