Planning is key

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. A common form of business in New Zealand is the family farm and this poses particular problems all of its own. Most people know that they need to have an up-to-date Will and Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) to cope with any unexpected events. However, there is a lot more planning that you should do as well. Read more…

Foreign Trusts

Tightening up the Rules

Foreign trusts were in the news last year. The government has now introduced legislation to tighten up the rules. But what are foreign trusts and is this important to you? Read more…

Make sure you have a Will and EPAs
You work hard to build up your assets over your lifetime, so you should decide what happens to them if you become incapacitated and when you die. If you own property, having a Will and Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs) will ensure all your affairs are in order and make things easier for your family and business colleagues. Read more…

Trusts Under Attack...

... By former spouses and partners.

Trustees need to be cautious
Trusts can sometimes be used to protect assets from future claims by a former spouse or de facto partner. However, lawyers and the courts are continuing to find ways around trusts in order to achieve what they see as justice. Recent decisions indicate why trustees need to be cautious. Read more…

A frustration for trustees
The extent of a trustee's obligation to provide information to beneficiaries has been a continuing source of frustration for trustees, particularly those whose discretionary decisions may be challenged. Recently the Court of Appeal clarified the nature and extent of this obligation, and the beneficiary's corresponding rights. Read more…

In the past we have covered the issue of personal liability for trustees and the dangers facing independent or professional trustees who have little day-to-day involvement in the running of their trust.

We have pointed out that the argument that liability shouldn't attach to them, as they are only there as an independent trustee, does not wash with the courts: liability under the health and safety and tax legislation, or the Resource Management Act 1991 is an issue. Read more…

Downie Stewart Lawyers Dunedin 8th Level, 265 Princes St, Dunedin, 9016 03-477 2263
PO Box 1345, Dunedin 9054 |  Fax: 03 477 4021  |  E: info@downiestewart.co.nz