Accounting and Tax

The final countdown for the first major change in Trust law since 1956 has begun. Are you ready?

Paul Moodie
10 June 2021
2 min read

10 June 2021

The new trust legislation that came into effect in January 2021 signalled the first major change in Trust law since 1956, and it lifts the expectations on Trustees.

As a Trustee under the new Act, there is a lot more emphasis on the role and your responsibility to look after the interests of the beneficiaries. You are accountable and the people you are acting for - the beneficiaries - are the people you are accountable to.

Historically, many family trusts were set up by Mum and Dad, to be controlled by Mum and Dad, to look after Mum and Dad. As far as Mum and Dad were concerned, the kids didn’t need to know what was going on and what was getting left. But things have changed.

Under the new Act, Trustees are expected to talk to the beneficiaries of their trust, letting them know that both the trust exists, and they are a beneficiary. They are also expected to let them know who the Trustees are and there is a mandatory requirement to let beneficiaries know they can ask for more information if they want it. If Trustees don’t want to give any of this basic information to the beneficiaries, they must apply to the court for direction.

If you are a Trustee who has not provided this information to your beneficiaries, your time to do so is getting less by the day. The new Act was introduced on 30 January 2021 and gave Trustees 12 months to act. With just over seven months to go, we are now in the final countdown.

Understanding the Act and getting practical advice is important. Since the Act was passed, a lot of questions have come up and other laws have changed, including new Brightline tests, interest deductibility and higher personal tax rates – all which could influence your decisions.

Register for our webinar - Trust Law: The Final Countdown

Paul Moodie will be joined by Tax Advisory Partner, Daniel Gibbons, on Tuesday 13 July at 11am where they will discuss the new Trust legislation that came into effect in January 2021.

As the first major change in Trust Law since 1956, the new Act lifts the expectations on Trustees. With deadlines for action looming, Paul and Daniel will walk attendees through all the major changes, outlining what you will need to take action on before the deadline.


Author: Paul Moodie | Senior Partner

Paul is a Chartered Director and Chartered Accountant. His clients include both public and private sector entities, as well as not-for-profit organisations. He has in-depth experience across all areas of governance, business management and leadership, as well as sales and acquisitions. An expert trainer and highly respected business facilitator and coach, Paul is a certified trainer of Franklin Covey’s ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ and the de Bono Innovation Institute’s creative thinking skills. He is an independent Director on a number of boards and is a trustee of a number of charities. A clear thinker with a strong attention to detail, Paul is able to guide and support business owners and charities to achieve their goals.