Trusts and Asset Protection

Trusts and Asset Protection

In simple terms, a Trust is a legal structure under which the control of assets is vested in a separate party for the beneficiaries of those assets.

By establishing a Trust and transferring assets to the Trust, the ‘Settlor’ no longer owns the assets, which would then be owned by the ‘Trustees’ of the Trust who must deal with the assets in accordance with the terms of the Trust Deed, ultimately for the benefit of the ‘Beneficiaries’.

People establish Trusts for a variety of reasons, for example:

  • People involved in business or who are directors of Companies often seek to obtain protection against possible claims from creditors arising from their activities.

  • Trusts can be a helpful tool to assist to protect assets from relationship property claims, especially when combined effectively with a Relationship Property Agreement.

  • Trusts can be used to hold and manage assets long-term.

  • Trusts can be useful in terms of financial planning and positioning for eligibility for Government entitlements and grants.

  • Trusts provide a useful mechanism for effective estate planning, offering great flexibility to cater for different Beneficiaries’ needs and circumstances at different times.

Our trust lawyers are experts in the area of trust law and asset protection.  We can guide you to consider the reasons why a Trust may be an effective tool for you and take all steps required to establish, implement and administer the appropriate structure.

Key Services

  • Advice on Asset Protection and Ownership Arrangements

  • Establishment of Trusts

  • Review of Existing Trusts and Resettlements

  • Advice on Eligibility for Government Funded Grants / Entitlements

  • Gifting Programmes

  • Charitable Trusts

  • Litigation Relating to Trusts

Examples of our Recent Work

  • Assist many Wellingtonians to review their ownership arrangements and to put in place effective structures to protect their assets.

  • Carry out reviews of existing Trusts (often established many years ago) and implement improved structures.

  • Act on the administration of gifting programmes and advise on matters relating to Government Funded Grants / Entitlements.

  • Advise on the various complex issues that arise from Trusts, including advice on Trustee duties and Beneficiary entitlements.