If you have a Trust, this is a must-read! Having a trust comes with a responsibility to understand how it works. Our trusts specialist Andrew Stewart can guide you through trusts law to help you ensure you’re not walking into trouble with your trust deed. Firstly, ask yourself the following questions:
- Have you read your Trust Deed?
- Do you understand what the clauses mean;
- What they do and why they are there?
- Do have a copy of all your Trust’s documents?
If you have answered no to any of these questions, you could be in breach of your duties as a trustee. Breach is a scary word, but it’s never too late to change things. At Morrison Kent, our Trusts and Estate specialists are highly experienced with deed reviews and amendments and can assist you in making the necessary changes to your Trust.
Gone are the days where you establish a trust and then forget it exists, as the Courts, the Government and Inland Revenue are cracking down on poor trust management. Trust law is changing all the time, especially now as regulatory bodies attempt to crack down on trusts, including their management, and as a more extensive consideration – money laundering. You need to be familiar with your trust deed to ensure you’re not walking into trouble. We urge you to consider; Are the clauses of your trust still fit for purpose? Can they be amended?
We recommend that you dust off that deed and read through it. You may be surprised at what you find.
Things to look out for:
- Your brother and his children or your children’s partners are beneficiaries of your trust.
- There is a clause that allows you to borrow money as a Trustee, which is excellent because the mortgage on your house is in the names of the Trustees, but it says the borrowing must be from a registered bank and you borrowed the money from a third tier lender.
- There are clauses about income and capital distributions, what do they mean?
- You have a power of appointment clause to appoint trustees, but you don’t seem to be able to remove them.
- It turns out trustees can remove beneficiaries, do you want this?
If you want to know more about your trust deed and how it all works, we can help you with a Trust Deed Review. In a Trust Deed Review, we will go through your documents to ensure the deed complies with current law and recommend any changes you might need to make for it to be as robust as possible.