Trusts

Where there is a will, what is the way?

A child (of whatever age) can make a claim against the estate of their parent under the Family Protection Act 1955 (FPA) if their parent dies and makes insufficient provision for them in their will. What happens, however, when a parent dies and their children aren’t aware of the fact? We also discuss the Law Commission’s report on succession law that has some specific recommendations for family claims on an estate.

Caring for Kiwis who cannot make decisions for themselves

Britney Spears’ conservatorship has now been formally ended. Since then, she has made a number of specific allegations against her conservators. We discuss how these issues would be dealt with in a New Zealand context.

Gift or loan?

The importance of properly documenting advances between family members. The trusty Kiwi “She’ll be right” approach is often manifested in a reluctance to formally document intra-family lending arrangements. In this article, we look at three different scenarios that are based on Maddy’s story.

conservatorship

Britney Spears’ conservatorship

The American entertainer Britney Spears’ conservatorship has recently been in the headlines. She is asking American courts to reconsider the conservatorship which has been in place for some years.

Gifford Devine Trust News

Estate laws due for a shake-up

The laws about the administration of estates are being reviewed by the Law Commission. Much of what has been proposed so far is uncontroversial but there are some recommendations that may prove unpopular, although they are likely to be refined during the Parliamentary process.

Buying your first home using KiwiSaver funds

The rules around the use of KiwiSaver have evolved over recent years as banks and other financial institutions have developed their understanding of the KiwiSaver regime.

Rural Trusts – Gifford Devine

Are trusts still fit for purpose?

Still fit for purpose for farm ownership and succession?

Trusts have long been the preferred vehicle for farm ownership. Historically, holding a property through a trust meant that ownership did not change on the death of the farmer and, therefore, any death duties could be avoided during the generational change.

New trusts legislation now in force

The Trusts Act 2019 came into force on 30 January 2021. One major topic of discussion arising from the new Act has been the provisions governing disclosure of trust information to beneficiaries.

Trustees’ expenses

Trustees’ expenses should be reimbursed, but no need for extravagance. When trustees incur expenses, they are not expected to be out of pocket in carrying out their responsibilities. Trustees are entitled to use trust money or to get a refund from the trust fund if they incur expenses in carrying out their duties.

Succession and trust law changes

Extension of Māori Land Court jurisdiction. A significant change to the succession laws relating to Māori land came into force on 6 February 2021 (Waitangi Day).