//
archives

vickiammundsen

vickiammundsen has written 349 posts for Matters of Trust

Trust Fundamentals

Trusts are a common form of asset ownership. However, the rights and obligations associated with trusts, and even simple matters such as contracting with trusts are not always well understood. Vicki Ammundsen will present a webinar on trust fundamentals on 14 February 2018 at 10.30am.  The webinar will take a case study approach to explore … Continue reading

Myths and liability

Trustees act personally.  As noted in the Supreme Court judgment in Macalister Todd Phillips Bodkins v AMP (emphasis added): “Liabilities incurred by a trustee in relation to a trust are always the personal liabilities of the trustee … A creditor has a personal right to sue a trustee and to get judgment and make the … Continue reading

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

Protecting the trustee’s position on the changing of the guard

The decision in Meritus Trust Company Limited v Butterfield Trust, a decision of the Supreme Court of Bermuda, considers the practical matter of whether a removed trustee can retain sufficient trust assets against which to enforce its indemnity in relation to a contingent costs liability.  In this case the contingent costs liability was estimated at $5 million and … Continue reading

Bankruptcy and abuse and of course a trust or two

Boy meets girl. Boy marries girl. Boy bankrupts girl after she fails to pay $12,263.50 of court costs. Girl’s appointment as trustee and appointor of two family trusts is terminated by her bankruptcy. Aint love grand? Anne (the girl in this narrative) remains a beneficiary of the trust that owns the family home where she … Continue reading

Home is where the trust is?

The decision in Van Uden v CIR highlights the importance of recognising when a property owned by a trust can comprise a permanent place of abode.  The significance of a property being a permanent place of abode is that a person who is otherwise non-resident for tax purposes, will be treated as resident in New Zealand … Continue reading