As of 30 July 2019, the Trusts Bill has now become the Trusts Act 2019. The Act comes into force from 30 January 2021. We have outlined the major changes to be aware of.
1. The Act Outlines mandatory duties for Trustees
2. Trustees must advise all Beneficiaries:
- that they are a beneficiary of the Trust.
- of the names and contact details of the trustees and/or whether there are any changes to the trustees.
- their rights to request trust information. This is a significant change and it must be emphasised that the trustees have a positive duty to do this.
Note: "Trust information" is defined as any information about "the terms of the trust, the administration of the trust, or the trust property" … "that is reasonably necessary for the beneficiary to have to enable the trust to be enforced". Commentary would suggest the information would practically be a copy of the Trust deed and the annual financial statements
3. At least one trustee needs to hold all the core documents and records of a trust and keep them updated.
4. Increase to the Trust Period: currently New Zealand Trusts have a trust period of 80 years. The law changes revoke the Perpetuities Act and increase the trust period to 125 years
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