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Minister puts trust law reform on agenda

Minister puts trust law reform on agenda

Some of New Zealand’s top experts on trusts are contributing their knowledge and experience to assist the Government’s reform of trust law, Justice Minister Amy Adams has announced.

Ms Adams yesterday chaired the first meeting of the Trusts Reference Group, which she established to help update and improve the law governing private trusts.

“Many New Zealanders use or deal with trusts, which are an important part of our society and economy,” Ms Adams says. “With an estimated 300,000 to 500,000 trusts operating in New Zealand, it’s important that trust law is fit for purpose and does not create unnecessary costs.”

The reference group consists of seven expert trust lawyers: Alison Gilbert, Greg Kelly, Andrew Logan, Jared Ormsby, Bill Patterson, Nicola Peart and Stephen Tomlinson.

“The reference group will provide advice to me on proposed reforms, which will build on the Law Commission’s 2013 report. The group will draw on their first-hand experience as trust lawyers and focus on the practical implications of the recommendations,” Ms Adams says.

“This will help ensure our reforms provide better guidance for trustees and beneficiaries and reflect modern ways of doing business.”

In its response to the Law Commission’s report Review of the Law of Trusts: A New Trusts Act for New Zealand in March 2014, the Government accepted the Law Commission’s recommendation for a new Trusts Act but said further analysis of the other recommendations was required. The reference group will consider those remaining recommendations and any other matters that will determine the content of a new Trusts Act.

The Government also plans to release an exposure draft of the new Bill for public consultation before it is introduced.

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