Trusts / Asset Planning

What happens when things go wrong - Trustee liability for the actions of co-trustees

Created: Friday, 01 February 2013 22:15

A recent Court of Appeal case has highlighted and reaffirmed three aspects of trusteeship:

  1. A trustee is personally liable for trust debts;
  2. A trustee cannot delegate his/her trustee duties; and
  3. A trustee should ensure there is a system in place to ensure his/her co-trustees comply with their trustee obligations.

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Trust Duties - It Pays to Know the Trust Assets

Created: Friday, 01 June 2012 22:06

One of the first duties a trustee has on taking up a trusteeship is to become familiar with the assets of the trust, looking at both what the assets are and their condition or state. It is a duty that may be overlooked when assets owned by the settlor of the trust are transferred to the trustees, sometimes to their detriment.

Trustees are personally liable when acting as a trustee. The exception to this is when trustee liability is specifically limited. Such limitation is normally limited to independent trustees. When entering into contracts or other obligations, trustees must ascertain what obligations and liabilities they are taking on before signing documents. Typically, trustees should take steps to limit their liability under the contract to the assets of the trust.

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Gift Duty Abolition - Not As Straightforward As It Seems

Created: Monday, 01 August 2011 22:08

Last year the Government announced that it proposed to abolish gift duty from 1 October 2011. The abolition proposal was included in a bill introduced to Parliament in early December last year and is now law (The Taxation (Tax Administration and Remedial Matters) Act).

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