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Can trustees of a family trust treat beneficiaries unequally?

  • 1 December 2017
Many family assets in New Zealand are owned by a family trust. The trustees of such trusts must comply with a wide range of duties and obligations. This article considers one of those duties, the trustee duty of impartiality, and what this duty means in practice, particularly when trustees want to distribute trust assets unequally amongst trust beneficiaries.
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Forming a Charitable Trust

  • 28 October 2015
We are often approached by clients who would like to give something back to the community and have therefore decided to form a charitable trust. There are a number of key steps in this process, which we can assist with.
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Mentally Incapable Trustees

  • 10 September 2014
If you have a family trust, you will (hopefully) have considered what will happen with your trust after you have died. You may have signed a memorandum of guidance setting out your long term wishes for the trust and you may have nominated who you would like to hold the power of appointment of trustees after your death. But have you considered what would happen if you, or one of your co-trustees became mentally incapable?
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Being a trustee: is it worth the risk?

  • 2 July 2013
As family trusts have grown in popularity over recent years, increasing numbers of people have been asked by friends and family members to take on trustee roles. The offer is often seen as something of a compliment; a sign of respect for the skills and wisdom of the trustee. However, potential trustees can easily overlook the risks involved with accepting such an offer.
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Family Trusts and Asset Protection

  • 22 February 2010
Family trusts are often marketed as a great way to protect family assets. Although trusts can be useful, they are not ‘get-out-of-jail-free’ cards, as Mr Lightbody discovered when his trust was considered by the Supreme Court in Regal Castings Ltd v Lightbody.
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