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Beneficiary rights

This category contains 41 posts

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

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

Erceg Appeal dismissed – exceptional circumstances not to disclose

What information can a discretionary beneficiary of a trust request from the trustees? If the beneficiary has been bankrupted, does that mean they no longer have personal rights to request information? The Supreme Court has now expressed its view on these issues and has upheld the earlier Court of Appeal decision. However, the Supreme Court’s judgment … Continue reading

A sorry tale …

As noted in the judgment McLaren v McLaren at [1]  this case relates to “… a sorry tale of what can occur when a family adopts an inappropriate form of trust deed without adequate advice or sufficient understanding of the legal effect of its terms. In this case, a son who was given a power … Continue reading

War of the roses

War of the Roses is a 1989 American film based on the 1981 novel The War of the Roses by Warren Adler. The film, which  co-stars Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito chronicles the demise of a marriage  against the backdrop of a beautiful home that the couple, literally fight to the death over.  Trust disputes can be … Continue reading

Family at war – but which war?

On 17 July 2016 the Sunday Star Times reported about a family at war over a mansion with an opening quote that read “Lawyers say the judiciary are increasingly overturning wills in family disputes.” The dispute ended up in the High Court, firstly regarding an application for the removal of the trustees and secondly a … Continue reading

Disclosure creep

Trusts can be many things.  Well run trusts can provide long-term inter-generational asset protection.   When the pie does not get split on the death of each generation, there can be greater potential for  wealth generation.  Trusts are also generally very private.  Trust ownership is not noted on land titles or in the Companies Office. But will this … Continue reading

Boys will be boys

When embarking on asset and estate planning, an important but often overlooked enquiry is as to how the next generation will manage the assets (and what those assets might be) and who sensibly should be in charge.  Consider the case of Frickleton v Frickleton. In this case one of four sons ends up as the sole executor … Continue reading

A step back for beneficiaries or a nil all draw?

The Court of Appeal decision in Erceg v Erceg has provided the Court of Appeal’s view of the correct approach to the disclosure of trust information to beneficiaries.  Prior to this Court of Appeal decision in Erceg v Erceg it was settled law in  New Zealand that beneficiaries had a rebuttable right to trust information pursuant to the … Continue reading