The Trusts Act 2019 is one of the most significant reforms to trust law in New Zealand in decades and comes into force on 30 January 2021. If you have a trust or are a trustee, it is important that you are aware of the trust law changes that the Act will bring and start taking steps now to review what this means for you.

What are the key changes?

The Act sets out mandatory duties that all trustees must abide by and there are several default duties which automatically apply to trustees unless the trust terms exclude or modify them. Trustees will also have new duties in relation to record keeping and holding copies of core trust documents.

What does it mean for beneficiaries?

The Act introduces new obligations for trustees to give beneficiaries basic trust information, such as the fact that a person is a beneficiary of a trust, as well as notifying beneficiaries of any change to the trustees.  Beneficiaries will also have the right to request a copy of the trust deed.

What does this mean if you have a trust?

If you have a trust, it is important that you start taking steps now to conduct your review sooner rather than later.  

How we can help?

At Lyon O’Neale Arnold Lawyers we are in the process of comprehensively reviewing our clients’ trust deeds to ensure compliance, as well as guiding our trustee clients in understanding their duties.

If you are a trustee of a trust, are involved in a trust, or are thinking of setting up a family trust, talk to us to learn how the new Trusts Act might affect you.