New Trusts Act

The Trusts Act 2019 received its final reading in Parliament on 24 July 2019 and Royal assent was given to it on 30 July 2019.  

The Trusts Act 2019 will replace the Trustee Act 1956 with the intention of bringing trust law into the 21st century.  The new Act aims to make trust law more accessible by clarifying and simplifying core trust principles.  It will also stipulate mandatory obligations that trustees must follow.


The new Act will come into effect in 18 months which gives you time to review your trust deed and your trust practices to ensure that they will meet the requirements of the new Trusts Act.


The role of the trustee will become more significant but it will also ensure that trusts are managed correctly to help provide the protection that you established it for.


The most significant change is that the Act sets out a number of mandatory obligations that the trustees must follow.  Importantly this includes the presumption to provide information to beneficiaries, including the fact that they are a beneficiary of the trust, unless limited circumstances apply.


The Trusts Act also allows trusts to have a maximum duration of 125 years, as opposed to the current 80 years.  It will make the process relating to the appointment and removal of trustees more straightforward, especially where a trustee is incapacitated.


This is an opportune time for you to contact us to review your trust and your current trust practices to ensure that it will meet the requirements of the new Trusts Act.


Rebecca Harris

Trusts & Estates - Senior Associate

+64 3 339 5665

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