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Changes to trust law - what you need to know

Changes to trust law - what you need to know

On 11 September 2013 the Law Commission presented their review of the Law of Trusts, A Trust Act for New Zealand, to Parliament. The review calls for the adoption of a new Trusts Act and the subsequent repeal of the current Trustee Act 1956. The new Trusts Act will not serve as a mere update of the current Trustee Act 1956, but will provide simplified procedures, outline the core characteristics of trusts and strengthen the common understanding of trust law for those using it. It will bind together and build upon all accepted rules of trust law, whether found in legislation or case law.

By Catherine Atchison - 24 Sep 2013

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Court steps up focus on action of trustees

Court steps up focus on action of trustees

The High Court recently removed a beneficiary's stepmother and solicitor as trustees of a trust. The removal was on the grounds that they failed to act impartially and/or failed to take into account the interest of all the beneficiaries. The recent High Court decision of Thurston v Thurston reaffirms the requirement of trustees to act impartially and in the interest of all beneficiaries.

By Tony Johnson - 5 Sep 2013

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Gifting and residential care subsidies

Gifting and residential care subsidies

The practice of a couple gifting $27,000 per annum each to a trust ($54,000 per couple) has existed for many years. This was the limit that could be gifted before gift duty tax was imposed prior to the abolition of gift duty on 1 October 2011. Gifting the maximum allowed before the imposition of gift duty also ensured that assets were transferred to a trust as efficiently as possible to give best effect to asset protection and estate planning schemes. 

By Tara Hurley - 23 Aug 2013

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Replacement v Sum Insured

Replacement v Sum Insured

International re-insurers have been feeling the pinch from the fallout of the Christchurch earthquake. They now see New Zealand as a riskier bet and want to more accurately assess their future liability in the event of further natural disasters. So, gone is the golden era of open ended replacement insurance and in are the days of Sum Insured policies. Replacement policies are based on the size of the property. Sum Insured policies are for a specific sum. 

By Kay Keam - 7 Aug 2013 - 1 comment

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Intellectual Property: The New Frontier

Intellectual Property: The New Frontier

Some fairly grandiose claims have been made about the potential effect of new technologies such as 3D printing on traditional manufacturing industries, but based on the rapid developments in this area some of those claims are not nearly as overblown as they might first appear.  And as things stand, current intellectual property (IP) laws are unlikely to provide much in the way of protection for manufacturers and other IP owners.

By Mike Worsnop - 30 Jul 2013

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The end of banks?

The end of banks?

Well not quite. But the last few years have seen the rise of a number of alternative sources of funding to challenge the traditional banking model. One such source of funding is known as crowd funding.

By Mike Worsnop - 19 Jul 2013

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Who is going to take over the business?

Who is going to take over the business?

Succession Planning is a critical issue facing many SMEs. And when you stop to consider that something like 97% of businesses fall into that category (based on figures published by Statistics NZ), it's a critical issue for the New Zealand economy.

By Mike Worsnop - 12 Jul 2013

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So what is happening out there?

So what is happening out there?

It's a question we regularly get asked by clients. And for good reason - legal services is one of those bellwether industries.

By Mike Worsnop - 8 Jul 2013

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Less wriggle room when wrong decision made by trustee

Less wriggle room when wrong decision made by trustee

The role of trustees is becoming progressively more time consuming and complex - and sometimes mistakes happen. So, what happens if you, as trustee, have slipped up?

By Tony Johnson - 28 Jun 2013

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Half of yours is mine (the next chapter)

Half of yours is mine (the next chapter)

The UK Supreme Court recently considered an appeal from proceedings following a divorce. The Court's decision in Prest v Petrodel Resources Ltd & Ors is likely to affect New Zealand company, insolvency, trust and relationship property law. 

By Tony Johnson - 21 Jun 2013

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