Trusts

Protect assets and wealth

A trust is a property that is subject to obligations owed by the property’s owner (the trustee) to the beneficiary or beneficiaries for who the property is held. A trust itself has no legal personality, it is the trustee that acts personally for the benefit of the trust’s beneficiaries. This means a trustee is liable for the trustee’s actions as if those actions were on the trustee’s own account.

Among other benefits, trusts are designed to protect you from an adverse event, if and when it happens. They may never happen and if they do, the effects may or may not be major. But if its major, it can be devastating to you, your family, your life, your assets, cashflow and happiness. You can think about having a trust as like buying insurance, to safeguard your financial assets.

Reasons why people set up family trust includes:

  • Protect assets against unexpected business debts and professional liability claims
  • Future proof and safeguard assets from financial disaster
  • Tax advantages under certain circumstances
  • Maintaining confidentiality about financial affairs
  • Preparing for residential care planning
  • Protect assets from relationship claims
  • Estate planning to provide for family

Advantages

A common private and business ownership structure in New Zealand is a discretionary trust. It’s advantages are broad and flow across asset protection, estate planning and taxation benefits. We can either refer you to our recommended lawyers or you can use your lawyer to form the trust and we can assist with managing and the ongoing tax compliance of the trust.

Typical structure includes:

  • Settle family home in a trust
  • Preparation of a memorandum of wishes, in which clients describe to the trustees what they wish to have happen after death.
  • Age of when distributions should commence should be thought through carefully. The more mature the age the better for inheritance to flow through successfully. Distributions at a young age may spoil one and ended up squandering it.
  • Provision for control should be thought through carefully. Control should vest to the final beneficiary jointly, such the children (or whoever) can change lawyer to who they wish, especially if the professional is not performing or is overcharging.

You can find out more about asset planning and our differences at (link to pages)

Need assistance with trust?

Get in touch with our team, who can assist with ongoing tax compliance and tax consulting for a trust.

Refer to our people for more information on who we are, our experience and how we can help.

We offer a no obligation 30min free consultation where we can discuss:

  • what are the investment vehicles available to you, including trust;
  • highlight tax issues and opportunities; and
  • how we can add value and assist.
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