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Is it tax avoidance to distribute to the beneficiary best able to benefit?

QB 15/11: Income tax – Scenarios on tax avoidance – 2015 gives examples where trustees of a discretionary trust take into account the tax position of the beneficiaries when making decisions about distributions of beneficiary income; and finds that this is not tax avoidance.   However, there are some important caveats, and the question to consider when any … Continue reading

3 roads to ruin

Professor Frances Moran has been attributed with lecturing her mainly male equity students at King’s Inns that “There are three roads to ruin in life, wine, women and becoming a trustee.  The first two are at least enjoyable.” Not wishing to enter into a debate of the relative strengths of either sex to mislead and … Continue reading

The grammar of trusts

Trusts are commonly anthropomorphised – my trust, the trust, his trust.  At the very least the trust becomes a possessive noun rather than the inchoate mix of rights and obligations that a trust really represents.  It is difficult of course, to separate out the parties.  Because most of the time – who cares?  Does it … Continue reading

Changes to taxation of land not limited to New Zealand

The following article by Michael Parker, Andrew O’Bryan, Frank Hinoporos, Emma Woolley and William Moore from Hall & Wilcox highlights the importance of knowing who the trustees and beneficiaries of Australian trusts are.  While the duty applies in an Australian context it can have relevance to New Zealanders who may be looking at purchasing real estate … Continue reading

1 of 2 Trustees personally liable

Guarantees are a common part of commerce.  In a practical sense they are often unavoidable.  Shareholders guarantee loans to companies; settlors guarantee loans to trusts – there is a certain symmetry because the shareholder or settlor is able to ultimately benefit from the advance.  But what about when the trustees who are asked for a guarantee cannot … Continue reading

Executors’ obligations to account

The role of executor of an estate and the on-going responsibilities and obligations are not always well understood.  Where there is a legal advisor the executor may be well schooled in the relevant obligations and the administration of the estate can be expected to proceed in a timely and proper manner. However, sometimes this is not … Continue reading