Let us answer these very briefly.
What does the new trusts legislation require?
In simple terms, the new Trusts Act requires trustees to turn their minds to giving beneficiaries ‘basic trust information’. We have been using a document format to help people meet and record their compliance obligations.
Is my trust deed okay?
It’s a good idea to check that the mechanics in your trust deed still work the way you would intend. One issue that often comes up is whether the circle of beneficiaries is too wide. Should the trust include your son in law? Or your ex daughter in law? If a remote beneficiary is alerted to the fact that there is a trust, he or she may be encouraged to ask questions.
What will happen if a current trustee loses capacity?
The new legislation introduces some changes in that regard.
What do I do about gifting?
It can be undesirable to leave large balances owing back to your estate. When did you last check your gifting policy?
Is it still worthwhile having a trust?
For some, there are very obvious reasons why keeping the trust going makes sense. For others, it is not so simple. The new emphasis on beneficiary rights is making some trustees feel uncomfortable. A trust review can help sort these things out.
Is your trust still effective for the purposes that matter most to you?
This is a particularly important question if you are in business, or you are relying on the trust for relationship property purposes. Things change.
Do you need to attend to some estate planning?
It is amazing how many trusts are set up without any clear vision about what will happen after the settlors die. At the very least you should have some recorded wishes.