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Trustees

This category contains 116 posts

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

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

Family dispute ends in a subpoena too far

Some disputes have the plots of a war movie. Everything starts fine until the hostilities begin and everything gets messy. Sometimes this just leads to someone carrying out an attack that doesn’t make sense… The defendants in the case of Triezenberg and Dodd v Mason, Alexander and Wendy Mason, were married in 1959 and had three … Continue reading

The future of trust administration

The roles of trustees and trust administrators can be a rewarding but difficult role.  With the prospect of a Trusts Act in the foreseeable future (see Trusts Bill released 1 august 2017) trustees and trust administrators need to be match fit.  Increased reporting obligations under CRS, AML/CFT and FATCA are another matter for consideration. For … 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

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

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