Significant changes to trust laws under new bill

  • 02/08/2017
Amy Adams says the current Act is out of date.
Amy Adams says the current Act is out of date. Photo credit: Simon Wong/Newshub.

A bill has been introduced to parliament that will make the first significant changes to trust laws in more than 60 years.

Justice Minister Amy Adams says the Trustee Act 1956 is out of date.

Her bill will make trust laws easier to access and understand.

"Trusts are an essential part of our legal system with around 300,000 to 500,000 operating in New Zealand," she said.

"For an area of law that is so well used, the Act is out of date and in need of a refresh."

The changes include

  • A description of the key features of a trust to help people understand their rights and obligations
  • Mandatory and default trustee duties to help trustees understand their obligations
  • Requirements for managing trust information and disclosing it to beneficiaries
  • Flexible trustee powers, allowing trustees to manage and invest trust property in the most appropriate way
  • Provisions to support cost-effective establishment and administration of trusts
  • Options for removing and appointing trustees without having to go to court to do so.