How will your trustee clients comply with the new Trusts Act?
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Justice released the long-anticipated draft Trusts Bill for consultation. There's a copy available here. While still in draft, it sends a clear signal about the need to improve record-keeping and compliance, especially for non-professional trustees. Excerpts from the proposed requirements include:
(37) Each trustee must keep copies of:
- The Trust Deed and any variations
- Lists of all assets and liabilities of the trust
- Any records of trustee decisions
- Any written contracts
- Any accounting records and financial statements
- Details of appointment, removal or discharge of trustees
- Memorandum of wishes
- Documents kept by former trustees
(39) Trustees must keep, as so far as is reasonable, the above documents for the duration of the trustee’s trusteeship.
(40) Trustees must pass on these documents.
(33) A “restriction on trustee exemption clauses…arising from…gross negligence.”
(34) A “restriction on trustee indemnity clauses…arising from…gross negligence.”
(42) A requirement for trustees to make available sufficient information to sufficient beneficiaries to enable the terms of the trust to be enforced against the trustees.
(28) A duty to keep proper records of the trust property that identify the assets, liabilities, income and expenses of the trust, and are appropriate to the value and complexity of that property.
(17) A duty to know terms of trust.
So two questions for you. Firstly, is this the catalyst you’re been waiting for to engage with your trustee clients, to implement greater measures to improve trust compliance and management (for all parties involved), and to make a fair return for the risk and effort involved in being a trustee? And secondly, is there a better and easier way for clients to fulfill their legal obligations than by being on one of the Trustworks connected subscriptions plans, whereby they can access all the trusts’ documents? Not to mention other benefits, such as significantly improved management, evidence of ultra-vires actions, secure storage of all trust information and anywhere, anytime access.
Save the date – Practical Trust Management Seminars
In conjunction with Trustee Support, we'll be running a series of short seminars next year designed to help attendees improve compliance for themselves and trustee clients and improve the management and profitability of their trust business. They will initially be in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, but we will look to extend to other major centres at a later stage. Dates are as follows:
Christchurch - Wednesday 22 February (afternoon)
Auckland (North Shore) – Thursday 23 February (morning)
Auckland (CBD) – Thursday 23 February (afternoon)
Wellington – Wednesday 1 March (afternoon)
Invitations will be sent in a few weeks.
Companies Office integration update
The Companies Office hasn’t yet released the first phase of e-filing director and shareholder updates from pre-production. While it won’t be out in November as originally hoped, we’re still optimistic it will be out by Christmas. We’re already working on phase two, which allows the e-filing of annual returns from Companyworks. As always, we’ll keep you updated.
Confidentiality Agreement and 3 other precedents added this month
- Removal from the Register
- Objection to Removal from the Register
- Objection to Restoration to the Register
This brings the total to 169 trust and estate precedents and workflows, plus 50 clauses in Trustworks and 255 precedents and workflows, plus AGM 10 clauses in Companyworks.
We’re enhancing AML/CFT compliance capability and need your help
As you may be aware, phase two of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 is being introduced. This will place new requirements on accountants, lawyers, and other businesses.
We’re planning some product and partnership enhancements to help users of our products more easily meet their obligations and would like your feedback to help us develop these. You will get a short survey in the next week or so. It will only be around 12 questions. Please take a few minutes to complete it.
Are your trustee clients asleep at the wheel?
Perpetual Guardian released a survey of trustees it undertook recently. The results are scary and unsurprising in equal doses. An article containing the key findings is available here.
Auckland loading person appointed
We’ve filled the role mentioned in last month’s newsletter for a dedicated person to help firms load information into Trustworks and Companyworks. Chelsea is a very talented senior accounting student, and background checks and training are currently underway. Please contact us if you’re interested in using her services. We’re also working on a very exciting technology solution to help load trust and company documents.
Like a demonstration or update?
Email “Demo Request” to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0800 456 580 to organise a demonstration or webinar.
Quote of the month
“You miss 100% of the shots you don't take”
- Wayne Gretzky