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Beneficiaries

This category contains 59 posts

David and Goliath?

Pertinent facts: On first blush Biggs v Biggs has the appearance of a David and Goliath style contest.   Nation J refers at [10] to the 2300 pages of documents that have had to be considered and at [11] notes that when claims are pursued “in a particular way, there can be scant recognition of the … Continue reading

Generosity can have its limits

A grandfather, Mr Greenwood, told his grandson that he could buy his house for $300,000 after his death. He expressed this wish to others, including his daughter (mother of the grandson) who was one of the executors of his estate, although it was not in his 2005 will. This occurred in Christchurch before the Earthquakes … 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

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

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

The curious story of the Angora cat

Para 438 in the decision of MezhProm Bank v Pugachev refers to a phenomenon in patent law known as the Angora cat problem first identified by Professor Franzosi, an eminent academic expert in the field: “Professor Mario Franzosi likens a patentee to an Angora cat. When validity is challenged, the patentee says his patent is … Continue reading

Disclosure request declined – 24 years a leap too far for a beneficiary who had already received 25%

As noted by Woolford J in para [1] Addleman v Lambie Trustee Limited relates to “an unfortunate dispute between sisters as to what level of disclosure is appropriate for the affairs of the Lambie Trust (the Trust)…” Prudence and Annette are sisters.  In1972 Annette broke her spinal cord diving into a tidal pool in Sydney … Continue reading

Trustees’ dilemma – how old is old enough to know?

The moral dimension of trusteeship arises in many contexts. The recent New Zealand court decisions concerning information obligations to beneficiaries, and the way this is dealt with in the new Trusts Bill, highlight the difficulty of judging what information is too much or too little to disclose. However, general principles on disclosure bypass the consideration … Continue reading

Family relationship minefield

Editor’s note:  The Court of Appeal decision was released on 19 April 2018.  See Artist in stoush over mother’s will ordered to pay after accusing lawyers of dishonesty. High Court Decision In Sandman v Giboney, Mr Sandman claims that a law firm knowingly assisted a breach of trust by taking will instructions and assisting in … Continue reading

Protecting misdirected trust assets

Dr Love, was the Executive Chairman and a trustee of the Wellington Tenths Trust (the Trust). The Trust manages assets for the Maori people of the Wellington and Taranaki regions. The trustees of the Trust developed a “partnership” business model whereby the Trust  retained ownership of Trust land,  but that development was carried out by third party property developers.  … Continue reading