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First update to trust law in decades

Content updates

The Trusts Act 2019 replaces the Trustee Act 1956 and the Perpetuities Act 1964. It is the culmination of 10 years' work by the New Zealand Law Commission, and its review of the law of trusts.

Simon Weil, a Trusts and Asset Planning partner in Anthony Harper’s Auckland office, has written an introductory commentary to the new Trusts Act 2019. The commentary includes the background to the new Act, the clarified aspects of the law, and the new trustee duties, as well as the questions the new legislation gives rise to. A lot of the new Act is clarifying the existing common law, but there are also new and significant duties for trustees.

The comment is introductory as it will take time for cases on the new legislation to come through the courts. The changes brought in by the new Act have received a lot of recent media attention, and this material contains excellent content on what the changes really mean for trustees, and those advising trustees and beneficiaries. See “Introduction to the Trusts Act 2019” in Working with Trusts, at TRIntro.01 to TRIntro.17.

The Trusts Act 2019 also provides for alternative dispute resolution (ADR), including arbitration agreements, arising from the provisions of a trust deed (ss 142-148) and inserts a new s 10A into the Arbitration Act 1996 that stipulates that the Trusts Act 2019 applies to arbitrations that relate to trust matters. For commentary, see Green & Hunt on Arbitration Law & Practice at AR10A.01 and AR10A.02.

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