Based in Tauranga and specialising in quality business advice and income tax return preparation at an affordable price
Malcolm Webster Limited - Chartered Accountants

Family Trusts

There are many good reasons for setting up a family trust. Common motives are outlined below: 

    • For estate planning, and to mitigate possible capital gains or death taxes 
    • To obtain tax advantages 
    • To protect your assets from business debts or professional liability claims
    • To reduce the chance of relationship property claims by future partners 
    • To maintain confidentiality about your financial affairs 
    • To prepare for those later years when you might need some care ("means testing" will be unlikely to affect you if all your assets are in a trust)

Some people even find good reasons to have more than one trust. For example, the shares of a private trading company could be transferred into a separate trust, to distance the family home from guarantees that may be required of shareholders by the trading company.

The most common reason for establishing trusts is to protect assets, for the here and now, and then for the eventual passing on of them to the children. But what happens when the children inherit?  Will those assets still be protected?  We encourage our clients include a request that separate trusts be established for their children or final beneficiaries, so that the wealth passed through is sheltered from future relationship property claims and creditors.

You need to be aware that a new compliance regime is on the way.  It may not significantly increase the administrative needs of running a trust that already exist, but it is likely to increase the costs and risks to trustees of not doing it right!

Together with your legal support, we can help you establish the right structure to meet your particular needs and circumstances.  We can then assist you in ensuing years to ensure that the necessary documentation and gifting is attended to so that you achieve the goals set for your trust.  For those with existing trusts, we can review what you have now.  While trusts are establised to protect your assets, you have to remember to protect the trustees too!