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trust

This category contains 32 posts

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

In Sandman v Giboney, Mr Sandman claims that a law firm knowingly assisted a breach of trust by taking will instructions and assisting in the preparation and subsequent administration of a will when the will-maker did not have sufficient capacity to make a will. The matter came before the court in an application for strike … 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

Resulting trust arises in contractual vacuum

The bare facts of Chang v Lee can be summarised as follows: Ms Lee purchases a property in Sunnynook Mr Chang (Ms Lee’s uncle) advances Ms Lee $275,000 of the $566,000 purchase price The advance was not a gift The terms of the loan advance were incomplete Mr Chang made the advance to Ms Lee on the … Continue reading

How afraid should we be of Clayton?

The Supreme Court decision in Clayton v Clayton changed the trust landscape.  But how afraid should we be?  Are all trusts vulnerable to Clayton-style challenge?  Or just the ones that push the envelope?  And, if the latter, how far can one push before there is a problem? A recent decision of Moore J has provided … Continue reading

Notional income knocked back

The High Court decision in Broadbent v Ministry of Social Development, which is essentially a test case, considers whether income derived from gifted assets (sometimes referred to as notional income) can be taken into consideration for income assessment purposes. The general purpose of the Social Security Act 1964, which includes provisions relating to a wide range … Continue reading

The devil and detail and deeds

Accordingly to Wikipedia the idiom, “The devil is in the detail” refers to a catch or mysterious element hidden in the details, meaning that something might seem simple at a first look but will take more time and effort to complete than expected and derives from the earlier phrase, “God is in the detail” expressing … Continue reading

Two trustees go down to the woods … one is discharged, one is not

The use of corporate trustees is a common response to trustee liability.  However, where one of two natural person trustees retires and a corporate trustee is appointed, it is important to consider whether the retiring trustee has been discharged.  See ss 43, 45 and 46 of the Trustee Act 1956, which provide: Relevant Legislation 43 Power … Continue reading

Who pays the piper?

When a trustee retires, it is necessary to transfer the trust’s assets from the trustees (including the retiring trustee) to the continuing and any new trustee.    Where a trustee is removed in contentious circumstances the trustee may be unwilling to assist in the transfer of trust property.  Sometimes with good reason – for example where … Continue reading

Ouch

In Davis v White (see You aren’t my beneficiary – are you??) a trust was found to have failed by reason of uncertainty. The second hearing of the matter related to costs and is a sobering tale for trustees. Mrs White who incurred significant costs (AUD 40,893 and $85,369.50 in New Zealand, plus disbursements) said that the proceedings could … Continue reading