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Right to trust information

This category contains 20 posts

Beneficiaries tracing misappropriated funds

  Thomas Young sued (as a trustee and as a beneficiary) the widow of the former trustee John Hunt allegeing the theft of $146,175 from the Twiss Family Grandchildren’s Trust. The background is set out as follows at [3] to [6]: “[3] The Trust was settled on 1 April 1991. The settlor was Mr David … Continue reading

The great NZ trust crackdown

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 … Continue reading

Disclosure vs Discovery

Is a beneficiary more entitled to trust information pursuant to an application for discovery, rather than pursuant to a an application for disclosure? As a basic principle, courts do not permit discovery as a “fishing expedition.” However, as noted in Gavin v Powell at [41] “… the trustees’ obligations as to disclosure and a beneficiary’s right … Continue reading

Beneficiary rights – never the twain shall meet

In Little v Howick Trustee DL Limited a beneficiary sought a review of trustee decisions and the removal of a court appointed trustee.  Perhaps surprisingly, considering the position taken in the Law Commission’s draft Trusts Bill and the Trusts Bill currently before Parliament regarding beneficiary rights,  Brewer J found that a discretionary beneficiary had no standing to seek a … Continue reading

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

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

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 leave to appeal allowed

The Supreme court has granted leave to appeal the Court of Appeal decision in Erceg v Erceg, see A step back for beneficiaries or a nil all draw? The approved question is “Should the conclusion that disclosure not be made/required be set-aside?” References: Erceg v Erceg [2016] NZSC 69  

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

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