Updating (Replacing) the Trustee Act 1956

Updating (Replacing) the Trustee Act 1956

Revamp to 60-year old trust law On 14 November 2016 the Justice Minister, Amy Adams, released draft legislation to update our trust law and improve the administration of trusts. It is important to appreciate that this change will have implications for all trusts; individuals may be most interested in family trusts and trusts established under Wills, but the changes will also affect (in particular) charitable trusts. The Minister highlighted that: Trusts play an important role in New Zealand.  Between 300,000 and 500,000 trusts are operating today.  Every day, ordinary New Zealanders use them to manage their finances, with an estimated 15 per cent of private houses held in a trust.  They also form part of the economic backbone of the commercial and social sectors. Our 60-year old trust law is complex and hard to navigate, partly because it is scattered across the Trustee Act and a variety of decisions made by courts over many years.  That’s why in 2009, the Government asked the Law Commission to have a look at how the laws could be modernised and made clearer. Given their importance to our society and economy, trust law should be simple to understand so that families and businesses can manage their affairs with confidence. The draft Trusts Bill aims to update and improve upon the Trustee Act 1956. The proposed improvements are intended to: Make it easier for people to understand how to use (primarily, family) trusts appropriately to manage their affairs, Set out clear mandatory and default trustee duties so people know what their obligations are if they’re involved in governing or managing any type of trust,...
Proposed New Trusts Legislation will affect Charities

Proposed New Trusts Legislation will affect Charities

Updating (Replacing) the Trustee Act 1956 – revamping 60-year old trust law On 14 November 2016 the Justice Minister, Amy Adams, released draft legislation to update our trust law and improve the administration of trusts. It is important to appreciate that this change will have implications for all trusts in New Zealand, including charitable trusts. The Minister highlighted that: Trusts … form part of the economic backbone of the commercial and social sectors. Our 60-year old trust law is complex and hard to navigate, partly because it is scattered across the Trustee Act and a variety of decisions made by courts over many years.  That’s why in 2009, the Government asked the Law Commission to have a look at how the laws could be modernised and made clearer. Given their importance to our society and economy, trust law should be simple to understand so that families and businesses can manage their affairs with confidence. The draft Trusts Bill aims to update and improve upon the Trustee Act 1956, and in relation to charities, the proposed improvements should: Make it easier for people to understand how to use, govern and manage charitable trusts, Set out clear mandatory and default trustee duties so people know what their obligations are if they’re involved in governing or managing a charitable trust, Give charitable trustees flexible powers and updated rules, Reduce risks for charitable trustees and disputes about charitable trusts as well-informed trustees are less likely to act contrary to the law, Clarify rules relating to changes to charitable trusts and winding trusts up charitable trusts, and Provide more options to remove and appoint...