Who to trust?

Written by: Anthony Kuran
Nov 30 2023

A few words on trusteeships and trust administration

Your assets need protecting. For that, trusts are still important if run properly. Yet it is becoming harder to find an independent trustee to administer them.

The introduction of the Trusts Act 2019 (Act) raised the bar on what’s expected of trustees’ duties and obligations. They must ensure they are performing their duties correctly, and in turn protect themselves from liability.

So, it can be hard finding someone who fits the bill. Friends or family may be too close and unable to make the right decisions.  Luckily, sometimes it’s simpler to appoint a good lawyer.

At Haigh Lyon, our specialist trusts team provide comprehensive advice on trust administration and are available to act as independent trustees where the firm is also providing legal services.

To make sure trustee duties are met, as independent trustees we require involvement in all trust matters and completion of administration of the trust, including at least an annual meeting.

Income producing trusts may require additional meetings and specific advice on certain trust activities. The trustees would need to engage an accountant to advise and prepare returns on behalf of the trust.

Using a Haigh Lyon trustee company as your independent trustee and completing trust administration has several advantages including:

  • To ensure best practices are in place to protect the trust’s assets and the interests of the beneficiaries
  • Upkeep of trust maintenance and records, including a register of assets and liabilities
  • To ensure trustees’ obligations under the Act are met and mandatory trust duties are complied with
  • Trustees will be made aware of changes in the trust’s space and any implications of same

Additionally, using a lawyer as an independent trustee enables the efficient resolution of any issues that may arise and reduces the risk of claims against the trust and/or trustees.

If you have any queries regarding trusteeships or would like us to assist with your trust’s administration, please contact Anthony Kuran on 09 306 0611 or [email protected]