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Trusts Act (2019): changes to NZ Trust Law.

The Trusts Bill (2017) gained Royal Assent on 30 July 2019 and is now called the Trusts Act (2019) since being passed into legislation.


This is the first time in over 65 years that any adjustments have been made to New Zealand trusts legislation. It will replace both the Trustee Act (1956) and Perpetuities Act (1964) and will take effect from 30 January 2021.

This new Act aims to provide better guidance and understanding for trustees and beneficiaries by clarifying and simplifying the core trust principles and essential obligations. Hon. Andrew Little describes the Act as a clear, modern statement of the law relating to trusts.

The key changes include:

  • What information must be provided to beneficiaries going forward;
  • Mandatory duties and obligations of a trustee;
  • The documents that trustees are now required to always keep;
  • The extended lifetime of a trust;
  • How the incapacity of a trustee will impact the trust;
  • Which aspects of your trust will need to change in order to comply with the new Act.

With these major changes, those with trusts will need to be prepared for when this Trusts Act (2019) takes effect.

Davenports will be hosting a Trusts Act Seminar on Tuesday 27 August to address the 'Big Changes' to the new Trusts Act and explain exactly what these changes will mean for you.


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