2 minute articles for trustee success

  • Professional trustees – Getting things to change

    Published July 14, 2016

    One of the questions I’m most often asked by professional trustees is “How do I tell my trust clients that things need to change?” If you feel things haven’t been done as well as they could have been in the past, resetting expectations can be daunting. Two things spring to mind from a good practice… Read More »

  • Trustee Forward planning

    Published June 16, 2016

    A professional trustee was recently recounting the challenges they faced following the death of a co-trustee. The co-trustee who died was the Settlor of the trust and one of the discretionary beneficiaries (with the children). The final beneficiaries were the children in unequal shares. The trust’s only asset was a home over which a small… Read More »

  • Tax obligations of trustees

    Published May 12, 2016

    Inland Revenue recently provided a friendly reminder in its “Agents Answers” newsletter (Issue No 186) of the importance of notifying Inland Revenue in writing if you have resigned as a trustee. The key points were: Trustees are personally liable for the tax obligations of a trust Inland Revenue will continue to recognise you as a trustee of a trust until… Read More »

  • Trustee decisions – tough decisions

    Published April 7, 2016

    Trustees have decision making roles.  Some decisions won’t always be easy. Decisions can be tough for many reasons.  For example: Disharmony between parties associated with the trust The need to balance competing interests The monetary or emotional value associated with a decision The best course of action may not be obvious The complexity of matters… Read More »

  • Trust deeds – Know the rules

    Published March 17, 2016

    I review a lot of trusts in my work.  The starting point for me is always the trust deed. Two things continually surprise me: First up, just how different the terms of each trust deed are, and Secondly, just how many trustees don’t know the terms of their trust deed. There’s a perception in some quarters… Read More »

  • How to reset professional trustee services

    Published February 25, 2016

    Professional trustees tell me one of their biggest challenges is resetting the terms of engagement and bringing wayward co-trustees into line. If you know things haven’t been run as well as they could have been in the past, it can be hard taking the first step to reset expectations and put things on a proper… Read More »

  • Charitable trust administration – keep your ducks in a row

    Published December 2, 2015

    A trustee recounted their experience in a trust where the charitable trust administration fell short. The trust was operated by a service club and was used for fundraising and making grants to worthy charitable causes and projects in the community. The trust was deregistered because of a simple error – the Annual Return wasn’t filed with Charities Services within 6… Read More »

  • Trustee risks – how to reduce them

    Published October 28, 2015

    If you’re going to stick your neck out and be a trustee, you need to eliminate unnecessary trustee risks. Last week I presented a webinar on reducing trustee risks through good trust practice.  The audience was made up of trustees, trust administrators and advisers to trustees. In the webinar I highlighted five key challenges I’m seeing… Read More »

  • Trustee fees – charging for trustee services

    Published October 1, 2015

    A common challenge for many professional trustees is managing client resistance with trustee fees. To me that’s a symptom rather than a problem. As I see it, the problem is often historical and results from trustee fees being bundled with fees for other advisory services.  In some cases, professional trustee fees have never been charged.… Read More »

  • Mental incapacity – How to recognise it

    Published September 9, 2015

    What happens if your co-trustee loses mental capacity? A friend was recently explaining the practical challenges he is facing with one of his parents.  He’s a co-trustee with his parents in a family trust and one parent has early signs of dementia. Trustees have decision making roles.  That means they have to interpret information, give due… Read More »

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