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[GRTV] Trustees face massive changes; but not a lot of time to prepare

People acting as trustees on family trusts face major changes and have very little time to get ready for them, Perpetual Guardian general counsel Henry Stokes says.

Thursday, March 12th 2020, 7:52PM

This episode is also available as an audio podcast. Listen now or download using the controls below:

A long-due overhaul of the laws governing family trusts comes into effect at the start of next year. Stokes says there are sweeping changes to trustees's duties and they need to start preparing for them now.

Trustees duties are now set out in legislation for the first time and they can no longer make the claim "I didn't know what I was expected to be doing."

As well as increased obligations on trustees, beneficiaries get more power under the new rules.

Stokes says people acting as trustees need to give very strong consideration to their new obligations and whether they want to be exposed to the increased liability and powers of beneficiaries.

He warns that if trusts need to make any changes they need to do it before the new laws come into effect. After that date it will be much harder to make variations to trust deeds.

"Time is a very critical factor." He says things don't move particularly fast; "now is the time to start getting things sorted."

Also people acting as professional trustees, such as financial advisers and lawyers, need to give consideration to whether they should continue offering these services.

Stokes says financial advisers also have to think about how their trustee duties fit with their obligations under the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Act.

To find out more about what is changing watch our GRTV interview with Henry Stokes.


Tags: Financial Services Legislation Amendment Act GRTV Perpetual Guardian trusts

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