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What we do


Trusts provide flexible and effective solutions for a wide range of wealth and succession planning needs, and for family and business requirements. However, the landscape in which they operate is ever changing and increasingly complex. The assets they hold are diverse, tax legislation and reporting obligations have changed significantly, and the litigious world in which we now live have led to increasing attacks on trusts and trustees by beneficiaries and third parties.

Having a team who can advise on the life cycle of your trust is important. Our directors and key advisors are part of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and the law of trusts is a significant focus for our firm.

Areas of practice include matters regarding:

  • Design, Formation, Resettlements and Dissolutions of Trusts
  • Trust Variations and Restructures
  • Cross border advisory and counsel management support
  • Contentious Trusts Disputes
  • Special trust and bespoke arrangements
  • Fiduciary matters: Trustees, Executors and Fiduciaries
  • Professional Advisors, including Legal, Investment and Accounting Advisors working with Trusts

New legislation – Trusts Act 2019

From 31 January 2021, the Trusts Act 2019 will usher in a new legislative framework that applies to all family trusts governed under New Zealand law. This new legislation represents the most significant shift in trust legislation in 65 years, and will affect anyone involved in a trust.

Some of the key changes include:

  • Trusts can now have a duration of 125 years, rather than 80 years
  • Trustees must volunteer basic information to beneficiaries
  • Trustees have mandatory and default duties
  • Increased duties for trust administration, particularly around record-keeping

Trusts remain an essential vehicle to effectively structure your assets and for succession planning. Trusts are designed for the long game; even if the initial reason for settling the trust no longer remains, trusts serve multiple purposes throughout their lifetime.

With this significant legislative update, we recommend taking the opportunity to review your trust to ensure it remains fit for purpose. Our Private Wealth team at Grayson Clements will help with this task, securing your trust for years to come.

You can read more about the Trusts Act 2019 changes in our overview article here:

Download Trusts Booklet

or take our survey to see whether your trust is match fit here:

Trust Health Assessment

Meet the Team