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The Arrival of The Trusts Act 2019

What’s happening?

The new Trust Act 2019 (“the Act”) comes into effect from January 2021.

It is estimated there are over 500,000 trusts in New Zealand and the Act will have an extraordinary impact on thousands of New Zealanders This is a considerable time of change and there is significant work to be carried out in getting prepared for the changes, We want to ensure that our clients are ready for the changes before January 30, 2021 deadline, this leaves us less than 10 months to help you be prepared!

What does it mean for trustees?

You need to review your Trust, we need to have a discussion about your trust and ascertain what (if anything needs to be done.

What does it mean for beneficiaries?

As from January 2021, all beneficiaries must be told by trustees that they are beneficiary of a trust. The Trustees must also provide beneficiaries with regular information about the trust, without them having to request the information.

As a beneficiary you can, as a minimum, expect to see the trust deed, the names of the current trustees and some basic financial information.

What do you need to do?

We have added a new member to our team, Natalie Picton, who is our new Trust Administrator. Natalie’s role is to ensure we get to each of our trust clients before it’s too late! Natalie will be in touch with all of our trust clients over the coming year. But if you are super excited to get ahead and conduct your review sooner rather than later, then by all means please get in touch with her.

If you aren’t a client of ours but have a trust and are concerned about the changes, we are here to help!

What happens if you ignore?

If you choose to ignore the new Act you will be in breach of your obligations as a trustee. You could find a beneficiary making loud noises and they could even go as far as applying to the Courts to have you removed from your role.

Straight talking legal advice

For straight talking legal advice about the new Trust Act 2019 please contact us at to discuss what changes are required for your trust to become compliant.

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