The way many New Zealanders manage their assets is set to change dramatically. Reforms to the laws governing trusts in New Zealand, due to come into force on 30 January 2021, are expected to trigger a massive reduction in the number of trusts.
The Ministry of Justice estimates there are currently between 300,000 and 500,000 trusts, also known as express trusts, in New Zealand. That’s the equivalent of one trust for every 6% to 10% of New Zealanders. A lack of transparency around exactly how many Kiwis are currently named as beneficiaries of trusts is part of the reason for the reforms.
New Zealand’s Trusts Act 2019 aims to make trust law easier to understand and replaces the Trustee Act 1956 with “a clear, modern statement of the law relating to trusts”, says New Zealand Justice Minister Andrew Little.
The Act received Royal Assent on 30 July 2018 and will take effect on 30 January 2021.
Also see Trusts Bill obtains Royal Assent