April two minute update
Cheaper annual return fees for filing via Companyworks
You may be aware that the Companies Office is lowering their annual return filing fee from $45 to $41.40, effective 1st July. But if you file via Companyworks (which utilises the API connection we have with the Companies Office) the fee will be just $37.95, saving a further $3.45! For more information on the Companies Office fee changes, please click here.
And a reminder: if you’re using Trustworks, there is no charge for using our products for managing trustee companies. So you can e-file their annual returns – and receive the reduced filing fee – without leaving the product.
New look e-filing of annual returns and ability to file for companies with extensive shareholdings.
From May you’ll see some enhancements to how you file. This includes a tick-box stating whether you’re an authorised person or director, a concise view of what is about to be filed, and the ability to attach documents including an extensive shareholder list.
How to foil the trust-busters’ favourite tactic.
Trust-busting is regular work for many lawyers in New Zealand. One strategy is to look for an invalid removal of a trustee. For example, ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ are trustees (professional or otherwise, trustee companies or individuals) of the XYZ trust. The XYZ trust deed requires unanimous decisions. Trustee 'A' is no longer going to be a trustee and is replaced by party ‘D’. The trust-buster looks for a way to show that the removal of trustee ‘A’ wasn’t undertaken correctly and is therefore invalid. If they're able to do so, everything the remaining trustees ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’ have subsequently done is also invalid, not having the approval of party ‘A’, and therefore not being unanimous.
As well as being a poor outcome for the trust in trying to protect and manage assets, it puts professional trustees and advisors in the firing line for their involvement.
So what's the solution? Simply make sure everything is done properly when removing a trustee. Three of the 15 workflows included in Trustworks – Retirement and Appointment of a Trustee, Retirement of a Trustee, and Death of a Trustee – outline all tasks required to be carried out by all parties involved.
These are being made interactive so tasks can be assigned to other users, either within your firm or other professionals if you're on connected subscription plans. Assigned tasks are then marked off as completed to avoid anything being missed or duplicated. Users will be able to see the status of the workflow at any time. Workflows give firms the ability to pass on tasks to less senior staff, as now they don’t need to know all the requirements, they just need to be able to follow instructions. Firms are also using our workflows to outline requirements to clients: for example, showing that resigning as a trustee isn’t as straight-forward as resigning from a job.
New trust precedents
Our ongoing review of the precedents and documents offered has resulted in a further 28 trust precedents being updated this month. Highlights include:
Variation of Trust Deed (x2)
Deed of Appointment of Vesting Date
Deed of Satisfaction of Debt
Deed of Novation of Debt
Deed of Partial Forgiveness of Debt
Deed of Gift of Real Estate
Let us know if you'd like to see the current list. We’re producing more all the time, so if there are any you think we’re missing, let us know at email@example.com and we’ll do our best to add it.
Thinking about how your firm and clients will comply with the new Trusts Act?
Submissions on the Bill closed several months ago, and we understand the legislation is working its way through the system. While the legislation isn’t passed, it’s worthwhile noting some key points and thinking about how your firm and clients comply using your current methods and systems or alternatives.
The following are several points to note that we understand are unlikely to change in the final legislation, plus how using Trustworks can help to achieve compliance.
Section 37: The requirement for all trustees to keep all the key documents.
Trustworks can be used internally by your firm or as a collaborative system involving other parties on a trust-by-trust basis. In the latter scenario, everything to do with the trust can be accessible to other trustees, fulfilling their record-keeping requirements and avoiding the necessity to send documents to, and receive them from, all the other parties involved.
Section 28: The requirement to keep proper records of the trust property.
As above, this can be instantly achieved. Trustworks also has an Assets and Liabilities management module designed for managing trusts, and Xero integration for more complex ones.
Sections 33 and 34: Restrictions on trustee exemption clauses and indemnity clauses arising from gross negligence.
With Trustworks, other trustees can easily outline planned actions, which you then have oversight of. And if other trustees are undertaking actions without disclosing them, there is evidence of ultra-vires actions.
Section 42: Trustees must make available sufficient information to beneficiaries.
It’s easy to email one or more documents to trustees (or any other party) directly from Trustworks. Or, you can grant beneficiaries access to the trust in Trustworks. This can be viewing-only. There is also the ability to set key documents as ‘confidential,’ meaning that they can’t be opened by users without the appropriate access rights.
Join a webinar demonstration
Email your name and the date you’d like to attend to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll respond with login details.
Companyworks – Fri. 5 May @ 10.00am and Thurs. 11 May @ 10.00am
Trustworks – Wed. 3 May @ 9.30am and Wed. 10 May 9.00am
Quote of the month
"A great many people think they are thinking when they are really rearranging their prejudices."
- Edward R. Murrow, Journalist