The ever increasing numbers of trusts established in New Zealand are causing the Courts to examine them at an unprecedented level, to ensure that they are set up for legitimate purposes and not as tax avoidance mechanisms. Whatever your reason for establishing a trust, it is vital to keep abreast of legislation and to always be above scrutiny. However, in our busy lives circumstances change and we often forget to attend to the all-important things.
As a trustee there are important details you need to know and think about. The trust deed should be regularly reviewed and trustees refreshed as to their responsibilities and duties. Regular trustee meetings are important as well, and any major decisions made must be accurately recorded. When looking after someone else’s affairs on trust, it is vital to know and meet your responsibilities to that trust. For example, when did you last review your trust deed? Do you know your trustees responsibilities? Are you aware of your duty to protect the trust and keep records? Do you have regular trustees meetings? All major decisions documented and filed? Up-to-date memorandum of wishes? Up-to-date wills? Trustee indemnity insurance?
We introduced a trust administration service in 2005 to help you take care of these critical tasks. Monitored by a dedicated administrator, the service evolved when we recognised that many trusts did not have a ‘caretaker’ policing the documentation and guaranteeing the validity of the trust. As part of our trust administration service, we help you to understand and appreciate the importance of maintaining accurate records. Another part of our service is to maintain trust records in our offices to ensure they are kept up to date and complete.. Our services include:
- Acting as an independent trustee
- Advising you on how to grow the assets of your trust
- Developing an investment strategy
- Preparing financial accounts and tax returns
- Producing and maintaining vital trust records
- Providing you with an up-to-date and informative trust newsletter
We also offer a separate Maori Trusts Administration service for the many Maori land trusts that form a large proportion of land ownership in and around the Taupo area. Our Maori Trust administrators have an excellent understanding of tikanga Maori and the ownership and succession process. We can assist with ensuring succession is completed, ownership records are complete and the appropriate beneficiaries registered on Trust records. Our service includes the processing and payment of any distributions and education or kaumatua grants to beneficiaries, preparing documentation and reporting for AGMs and special meetings, and liaising with trustees on issues relating to the administration and management of the trust.
Our directors and staff are experts in this field. If you’re not sure about any of the above, get in touch and sign up for our regular newsletters.