TrustGuard is a joint New Zealand Trustee Services and Perpetual Guardian initiative. Our Team of in-house Solicitors and Trust Specialists are dedicated to performing comprehensive reviews of existing trusts and providing expert guidance, resulting in best practice for Trusts in New Zealand.
Our aim is to establish an agreed industry standard in respect of the administrative requirements for Trusts in New Zealand. This will be achieved by collaborating closely with advisors and educating clients ensuring a comprehensive one-team approach.
With the proposed changes to trust law in New Zealand the role of the professional Trustee will have greater responsibility and accountability particularly around Trust structure and administration. The question therefore is: “when placed under the microscope will your Trust be deemed compliant?”
Due to these proposed changes we are already seeing some advisors who took on the role of professional Trustee looking to step away. With others wanting further support, our TrustGuard team is ready to facilitate with transitions for both options and everything in between.
7 CRUCIAL QUESTIONS
Unless you can answer YES to ALL of the following questions about your client’s Trust, you could be risking their future:
- Do you fully understand the content of your Trust Deed and the obligations it imposes on you (as a Trustee)?
- Are you sure all assets owned by the Trust are held in the names of the current Trustees?
- Does the Trust have its own bank account?
- Are you sure all Trustee decisions have been recorded correctly and reflect the documents executed?
- Do all the Trustees meet at least annually?
- Do the Trustees maintain an up to date minute book?
- Is the Memorandum of Wishes up to date and reflective of how your client wishes their Trust (to be used) in the event they are no longer able to give their voice?
HOW WE CAN HELP
TrustGuard is a unique service which reviews a Trust and offers direction and recommendations to help ensure the Trust functions as intended to achieve the client’s ultimate end goal.
Our process has been carefully designed to support both clients and advisors. We not only help ensure Trusts are managed to best practice standards, but we make sure all parties fully understand the complexities of each unique Trust structure. We will work closely and collaboratively with the client’s advisors, lawyers and accountants to ensure that the best possible outcome for the client is met.
This service is for those clients who already have an existing Trust where New Zealand Trustee Services or Perpetual Guardian are not currently a Trustee.
HOW WE SUPPORT EXISTING CONNECTIONS
The TrustGuard review process will result in specific recommendations for each client which are designed to assist them in the administration of their Trust. Based on the client’s documentation, recommendations may include:
- Adjustment or preparation of documents to bring the administration of the Trust up to a best practice standard.
- Based on the reasons why the Trust was created versus the present requirements of the clients, we may recommend the winding up of the Trust.
- In some cases we will recommend resettling the Trust. To do this a new Trust is created and the assets are transferred from the old Trust to the new thus keeping them protected and retaining any gifting previously completed. This allows the continuation of already protected assets under a much more robust Trust Deed.
- Take over administration, providing no major issues are discovered.
- Correct the administration where possible and take over the administration.
- Resettle assets into a new Trust and wind up the old Trust.
OUR BEST PRACTICE APPROACH ONCE APPOINTED
To ensure the ongoing compliance and success of our Trusts we hold Annual Trust meetings with our clients and their advisors. This is an opportunity to meet with all parties involved to review all aspects of the Trust, Wills and supporting documentation to capture any changes and amend the structure to support the clients objectives year to year.