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Court powers webinar

Vicki Ammundsen is presenting a webinar on powers of the court on Wednesday 4th December at 10.30. The subject, which may seem horridly dry, is far more interesting and far more practical than might be thought. As more and more trustees find themselves deadlocked or otherwise unable to act, and as increasing numbers of beneficiaries … Continue reading

Trusts protect beneficiaries not trustees

It is conceded that liberties have been taken with the heading due to space limitations.  The point, that cannot be emphasised too much, is that at the most basic level trusts exist to hold, manage and protect, property, for the benefit of the beneficiairies.  Not the trustees.  A trustee’s liability between the trustee and the … Continue reading

New community housing tax exemption announced

The Government has announced that it will introduce legislation to Parliament to provide that assisting low-income families into home ownership will be exempt from income tax. The law change is necessary after the Charities Commission (the functions of which have been taken over by the Department of Internal Affairs – Charities) decided that assisting people into home … Continue reading

Limits to limitation of liability

Trustees act personally.  However, trustees can contract out of personal liability.  For example if trustees enter into an agreement for sale and purchase of land the trustees can obtain the benefit of a standard limitation of liability (if there is one) or reach agreement on the inclusion of a suitable limitation. That said, limitations of liability, like … Continue reading

Charitable or not?

The decision in the Southland and Scottish Hall Community Trust case raises the important consideration of knowing what it is you are dealing with.  In this case a declaration was sought as to whether the trust was a trust under the Trustee Act 1956, or a charitable trust under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957.  The trust … Continue reading

Who meets the cost of a will challenge?

In the civil jurisdiction, costs generally follow the event.  That is, the loser pays the winner’s costs.  However, there are exceptions to this.  In the context of probate applications, the general rules of costs will not necessarily apply where: the litigation arises due to the will-maker’s fault due to the state of the will-maker’s final … Continue reading

Who is the settlor’s spouse?

A recent application for variation or rectification of the deeds of two mirror trusts highlights the need for careful consideration when drafting deeds of trust.  The deeds in question define the Final Beneficiaries to include the husband/wife (as relevant) of each settlor.  Some years later the husband and wife separated and their marriage was subsequently dissolved.  The … Continue reading

Will I won’t I will?

Will trusts or testamentary trusts are the most common form of trusts.  In this regard, your will is literally your last word.  However, an extraordinary number of New Zealanders do not have a will. If you die intestate (legal speak for no will) your estate is distributed in accordance with the relevant formula in the … Continue reading