New Zealand Law Society - Major changes coming for trust law

Major changes coming for trust law

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The stage has been set for major changes to the law relating to trusts, with a third reading of the Trusts Bill.

The bill will come into force 18 months after it receives the Royal assent, except sub-Part 3A of Part 9A which relates  to the Financial Services Amendment Act 2019.

The Trustee Act 1956 and Perpetuities Act 1964 will be replaced when the new legislation takes effect.

Principal changes include:

  • clarification of key features of a trust and the duties of trustees;
  • clear rules about when trustees are required to provide information to beneficiaries so that beneficiaries can enforce their rights;
  • practical and flexible trustee powers that allow trustees to manage and invest trust property in the most appropriate way;
  • options for removing and appointing trustees without having to go to court in straightforward cases
  • modern dispute resolution procedures;
  • permitting amendments to certain financial and commercial trusts to enable specified provisions of the Bill to not apply to those trusts.