At Helio Trusts, we have just one objective in mind. And that’s to make sure all aspects of your Trust are expertly managed, so that your goals can be your reality.
Today. Tomorrow. And beyond.
We believe your Trust should be viewed as a living asset, and not something to be tucked away in the bottom drawer in the belief that it will always provide what you intended, to those you intended.
The world of Trust Law is forever evolving and keeping up with the myriad of legal obligations you face as a Trustee can be overwhelming. So too can other compliance and administrative considerations important to upholding the integrity of your Trust. When the management of your Trust is under the one watchful eye you can focus on re-evaluating and resetting your goals, in the knowledge that the very best management practices are in place to enable your success.
We also believe that two or more heads are better than one. When those whose opinions you value the most work together, and not in isolation, then opportunities are identified, risks mitigated and the resilience of your Trust reinforced.
By involving key Advisors and Trustees in decision-making, we adopt a collaborative approach to the ongoing management of your Trust. With the heightened expertise and insight that this brings, the potential of your Trust can be optimised, your intentions respected and your wealth preserved.
At the heart of Helio are our people. They are experts in Trust management, and navigating a way through the complexities and nuances of this ever changing world.
Clinton has 15 years of experience in the trustee and financial services industry and has built a wealth of trustee and trust management knowledge and expertise. Formerly a Senior Client Manager at Perpetual Guardian, Clinton’s background and training as a financial planner and as a trust and estate practitioner mean he is well placed to help clients make the best decisions for the protection of their assets.
As Senior Trust Manager, Kirsten is responsible for assisting clients with their trust management including trust reviews, governance and compliance and ongoing relationship management.
With over 20 years’ experience as a Legal Secretary for various Christchurch law firms, Kirsten brings her knowledge of trusts and estates to her role with Helio.
The Trusts Act 2019 comes into force on 30 January 2021 and brings with it several important changes that increase trustee responsibilities. This includes new beneficiary disclosure obligations and a requirement to respond to their requests for further information. Section 51 of the Act provides that trustees must issue beneficiaries with “basic trust information” without beneficiaries having to ask for it. It is vital that trustees take steps now to ensure they have a robust decision-making and communication procedure in place to meet these requirements. Read more here.
The Trusts Act 2019 comes into force on 30 January 2021. It will make important, long-awaited, changes to trust law in New Zealand and replaces the Trustee Act 1956. Trustees and beneficiaries should be aware of the changes and how the Act may impact their rights and obligations. Trustees should use the intervening period to make sure they get their house in order and operate in accordance with its terms.
Some of the key changes include:
The Act is intended to modernise the law of trusts in New Zealand and enable beneficiaries to know more about their rights, so they can enforce the terms of a trust where appropriate. These changes highlight the importance of trustees knowing and understanding the terms of the trust deed and meeting regularly to ensure they are properly applied.
The recent High Court judgement in Enright v Enright  is a reminder that timely meetings, at least annually, of all trustees, properly recorded and with reference back to the actual terms of the trust deed, are crucial for the trustee decisions to be valid and robust if challenged.
The JJ Enright Trust was formed in 1974, and various things occurred (usually at the behest of the Settlor who was one of the trustees), including appointing his youngest child to be sole capital beneficiary of the Trust in 1985.
His other children remained income beneficiaries. A clause in the trust deed stated that if the trust income wasn’t appointed differently within 6 months, it defaulted to equal division between the children.
The trustees overlooked that provision, and didn’t actively address the income each year with the necessary paperwork, as they thought the income should be used to help grow the trust assets.
The trust’s capital assets were transferred to the then sole capital beneficiary at some point between 27 Sept 2007 and 30 June 2008. The trust was, in the minds of the trustees, wound up.
At the start of this court action there was an argument that the Limitation Act applied and the (adult) children were out of time to bring a claim. But the income beneficiaries didn’t learn of their entitlement until 2015. The court found that the concealment of their entitlement from them was fraudulent and that the limitation period hadn’t expired meaning they could sue (except one of the adult children who was given information in 2008 which should have prompted him to make further enquiry).
The judge ordered the capital beneficiary to hand over $1.7m to be divided amongst his siblings, being the income that defaulted to those siblings because the trustees didn’t apply their minds to the specific provision terms of the trust deed each year.
The use of income that was made, and the transferring of the capital to one beneficiary, were all things that could have been validly done had the provisions of the trust deed been read, understood and applied diligently each year by the trustees.
This decision highlights the importance of trustees knowing and understanding the terms of the trust deed and meeting regularly to ensure they are properly applied.
A Bill to make trust law easier to access and understand has been introduced to Parliament today by Justice Minister Amy Adams.
The Trusts Bill will update and replace the Trustee Act 1956, making it the first significant change in New Zealand’s trust law in over 60 years.
“Trusts are an essential part of our legal system, with around 300,000 to 500,000 trusts operating in New Zealand today. For an area of law that is so well used, the Trustee Act 1956 is out of date and in need of a refresh,” says Ms Adams.
A Trust Bill has been drafted that has implications for Trusts, Trustees and Trust Advisers, and for the way a Trust would need to be run in the future. Anyone involved in a Trust will have specific legal responsibilities. If these responsibilities are not fulfilled, then the integrity of the Trust is likely to be undermined and the Trustees will be exposed to liability.
The draft Bill has been put out for public consultation. The Bill will form the Trusts Act when it passes into law and is likely to come into effect six months after the law is passed.
The overriding purpose of the Bill is to restate and reform New Zealand Trust Law by:
However, this Act will not be an exhaustive code of the law relating to Trusts. The Act complements, and is informed by, the rules of common law and equity relating to Trusts (except where otherwise indicated or where those rules are inconsistent with the provisions of the Act).
When astutely managed, a Trust provides a valuable vehicle to deliver your personal and financial goals and to protect intergenerational wealth and assets.
Helio Trusts is a partnership between Tavendale and Partners Ltd and Perpetual Guardian. The combined expertise of these two firms brings a rigour to Helio Trusts that ensures both management and compliance requirements of your Trust are proactively taken care of.
Helio is all about making sure that your Trust remains relevant, compliant and realises its maximum potential. Collaborative and transparent decision-making is central to delivering on this commitment.
With the pending changes in NZ Trust law, you shouldn’t assume that everything is in order. Our emphasis is on the effective management of your Trust to protect its intended purpose and its compliance with the law.
Trust management is not a static exercise. It is critically important to be regularly monitoring your Trust against the objectives you’ve set for it. If things are not on track, seek some professional help. The three questions everyone who has a Trust or who is a Trustee should be asking themselves is:
Anyone who has an existing Trust or Trusts.
Fees for our Trust management services are determined on an individual basis and in accordance with the complexity of your Trust or Trusts.
We work on a ‘no surprises’ basis, so we always discuss and agree on the most appropriate fee structure for your situation in advance.
As a Trust management company, Helio works alongside all your professional Advisors to ensure the very best outcomes for you.
No. As a trust management company, Helio cannot provide regulated legal services. All legal matters associated with your Trust must be handled by a practising lawyers.
Helio Trusts uses SSL certificates similar to internet banking to securely encrypt all information transferred between authorised users and the Helio portal. Additionally, information stored on Helio servers is “encrypted at rest”, which means stored data is saved in a naturally encrypted state even when not moving between the portal and the user.