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The blessing of the court

Being a trustee is hard, and at times quite possibly boring (to paraphrase from the movie An Education: Emma Thompson and Carey Mulligan).  And worse, if you get it wrong the beneficiaries can sue you, no matter how hard a trustee might try to get it right. Fortunately, help is at hand in the form of … Continue reading

Execution clause reminder

A valid will requires, amongst other things, two witnesses to the signature of the will-maker (see Wills Act, s 11).  Where a will is signed by a will-maker and the requisite two witnesses, this by itself is insufficient to confirm that the witnesses were present when the will was signed.  The standard will attestation reads: … Continue reading

Trustees “fortunate” to be liable for only 50%

The Rex White Family Trust (RWFT) was found to have failed by reason of uncertainty. While the Court accepted it was appropriate for the trustees to have sought directions from the Court, it was found that they had acted unreasonably by pursuing an argument as to the existence of the RWFT, which was lacking in merit.  … Continue reading

Trusts Bill has first reading

The Trusts Bill, which was introduced on 1 August 2017, and which represents that first major change to trust law legislation in New Zealand for over 60 years, had its first reading in Parliament on 6 December 2017.   See Trusts Bill Released 1 August 2017 and Trusts Bill Receives First Reading Also see the First Reading. The … Continue reading

Trustees lead astray by Memorandum of Wishes

Mackie Law independent Trustee Limited v Chaplow provides a useful consideration as to how closely trustees should follow a memorandum of wishes. The trust in question was settled by Mr Munro who wrote the memorandum of wishes referred to shortly before his death. The primary beneficiary of the trust following Mr Munro’s death, was his … Continue reading