Trust E-Speaking is a bi-annual publication authored by Greg Kelly Trust Law. Archived publications are available to download below, and recent articles are featured on the Articles tab.

Issue 38 - Autumn 2024 See more

This issue of Trust eSpeaking looks at three recent cases which contain salutary lessons in avoiding the cost of High Court applications: (a) check the charities register to make sure your charity exists before leaving a gift in your will; (b) make sure you complete a new will when you separate from your spouse or civil union partner, and ensure the marriage or civil union is dissolved as soon the two years expires; and (c) note that where a will-maker and a beneficiary are co-guarantors, and the guarantee is called up, the beneficiary's share of the debt may be able to be taken out of their share of the estate.

Issue 37 - Spring 2023 See more

This issue of Trust eSpeaking looks at three very interesting recent cases: first about the validity of a father's decision to transfer his assets to a trust in order to prevent his children making claims against his estate, another about the options open to trustees of an estate when a beneficiary doesn't claim their inheritance, and finally a look at the ongoing litigation regarding the application of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 to polyamorous relationships.

Issue 36 – Autumn 2023 See more

This issue of Trust eSpeaking looks at the role of a trustee, explores the meaning of the phrase “the children of the settlors” and in particular whether that means the children of both or either of the settlors and, finally, considers the role of tikanga in the development of New Zealand’s common law.

Issue 35 – Spring 2022 See more

The latest issue of Trust eSpeaking explains the application of the Trusts Act 2019 to executors and administrators of estates, looks at what happens when a family wins Lotto, buy a house, and then have a falling out, and the importance of getting independent advice if you find yourself wearing two hats in an estate content (for example as a beneficiary and as an executor).

Issue 34 – Autumn 2022 See more

The latest issue of Trust eSpeaking discusses the importance of documenting intra-family loans, revisits Britney Spears’ recent allegations against her former conservator in the NZ context, and looks at the obligations executors have to notify children when an estranged parent dies.

Issue 33 – Spring 2021 See more

The latest issue of Trust eSpeaking looks at your ability to access Kiwisaver funds to buy your first home in a trust, reviews the Law Commission’s review of Estate Law, and considers whether Britney Spears’ conservatorship could happen in New Zealand.

Issue 32 – Autumn 2021 See more

The latest edition of Trust eSpeaking discusses recent developments in succession law and the Maori Land Court’s trust jurisdiction, a recent High Court decision which discussed a trustee’s ability to claim expenses, and a summary of the new Trusts Act 2019 information disclosure requirements.

Issue 31 – Spring 2020 See more

The latest edition of Trust eSpeaking discusses the effects and pitfalls of signing of documents during the Level 4 COVID lockdown and reviews two recent trust decisions: the first case involved a review of a trustee’s decisions in circumstances where she allowed family bias to affect her decision making; the second involved a successful claim under s 44 of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 which resulted in the reversal of a transfer of property to a trust.

Issue 30 – Autumn 2020 See more

The latest edition of Trust eSpeaking looks first at succession law in New Zealand and, in particular, the Law Commission review of New Zealand’s inheritance laws. Next, how many people should you name as attorneys in your enduring powers of attorney? Finally, how much can a disinherited child expect to receive when making a claim on an estate?

Issue 29 – Spring 2019 See more

The Trusts Act 2019, which comes into force on 30 January 2021, imposes new mandatory and default duties on trustees. The issue of income deprivation where assets have been transferred to trust has also been considered by the Court of Appeal in the context of residential care subsidies. Finally, we look at the growing trend towards grandparents providing for grandchildren in their wills.

Issue 28 – Autumn 2019 See more

The Law Commission is reviewing the ability of the Family Court to access trust assets when couples separate. Read more about the increased powers that have been proposed, as well as what to do when a family member loses capacity and doesn’t have Enduring Powers of Attorney, and ways parents can protect themselves while help children into the property market.

Issue 27 – Spring 2018 See more

Do you still need a trust, or should you bring it to an end? Also, what can be done if your Will is invalid.

Issue 26 – Autumn 2018 See more

When your spouse or partner dies you need to choose to take what you have been left in their Will, if anything (Option B), or to make a claim against their estate (Option A).

Issue 25 – Spring 2017 See more

The proposed new trusts legislation has started its path through the House.

Issue 24 – Autumn 2017 See more

Most owners want to ensure their business will continue after they have died. Often they want their family to be able to carry on the business.

Issue 23 – Spring 2016 See more

The extent of a trustee’s obligation to provide information to beneficiaries has been a continuing source of frustration for trustees.

Issue 22 – Autumn 2016 See more

With the growth of multiple relationships and blended families many couples are having to consider ways to ringfence assets and protect inheritances.

Issue 21 – Spring 2015 See more

If you set up your trust some years ago, it may be time to consider whether the trustees you appointed are still right for the role.

Issue 20 – Summer 2015 See more

Ten years ago the idea of protecting your digital assets after your death, or if you lost mental capacity, would have been regarded as absurd. Many of us now regard this as critical. However, there’s very little guidance available on how best to ensure these assets are identified and dealt with in these situations.

Issue 19 – Spring 2014 See more

“Dying without a will? Messy, expensive and time-consuming.”

Issue 18 – Autumn 2014 See more

“The Pike River Mine tragedy has changed the way in which health and safety is thought about. This, and other legislative changes, are likely to have major effects for trustees in the future. If your trust owns any type of business or farm, the trustees need to start thinking more about their responsibilties.”

Issue 17 – Spring 2013 See more

“There are a number of common assumptions made about access to a person’s Will and what happens after the Will-maker has died.”

Issue 16 – Autumn 2013 See more

“It was very common in the 1990s for New Zealanders to set up discretionary family trusts in the hope that by putting assets in the name of a trust, they could qualify for resthome subsidies in the event that they were required to go into rest home care. This certainly worked for a number of years. Things have changed, however, and this article looks at a recent case that challenged that proposition.”

Issue 15 – Spring 2012 See more

“If you are both trustee and beneficiary of a family trust, it’s important for you to know when you are allowed to act selfishly (for your own benefit) and when you must act selflessly (for the benefit of others)”

Issue 14 – Autumn 2012 See more

“One of the most important duties of a trustee is to act totally in the interests of the trust beneficiaries. Divided loyalties or a conflict of interest can be enough for a trustee to be removed.”

Issue 13 – Spring 2011 See more

With the abolition of gift duty from 1 October 2011 the first thought for most people who have a family trust would be “Let’s give it all away”.

Issue 12 - Autumn 2011 See more

The government has announced it will abolish gift duty from 1 October 2011 citing the cost of gift duty compliance.

Issue 11 – Spring 2010 See more

The Wills Act 2007, which came into force on 1 November 2007, has made some significant changes to how Wills are corrected in New Zealand.

E-Flash May 2010 See more

In the lead-up to the 2010 Budget delivered on 20 May, some commentators believed that trusts, and the way that trusts operate, may be targeted.

Issue 10 – Autumn 2010 See more

As a general rule the 50/50 split provisions of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 do not apply to assets held in a family trust. This creates real problems when a couple separate; one or both may be denied access to trust assets.