By now you should be aware that there is a pending change in Trust law, taking effect early next year.
The Trusts Act 2019 comes into force from 31st January 2021 and one of the notable changes is the provision of information to beneficiaries. There is a presumption that Trustees make available to beneficiaries the following basic Trust information.
Basic Trust information includes:
- The fact that the person is a beneficiary
- The name and contact details of the trustees
- Details of the appointment, removal and retirement of trustees
- The right of the beneficiary to request a copy of the terms of the trust or trust information
The Act sets out circumstances under which information can be withheld however it remains to be seen how liberally the courts will allow the application of these provisions.
In a number of cases Trusts have a longer than necessary beneficiary list, which may have implications on the provision of information and administrative requirements for your Trust.
There are a number of other issues to address that anyone who is a Trustee of a Trust or has a Trust should be aware of. As well as reviewing the listed beneficiaries we recommend you contemplate the following:
- Considering whether it’s still appropriate to retain a Trust
- Reviewing the deed to ensure it is still appropriate in light of the pending changes to the Act
- Completing/updating any missing or incomplete documentation, such as Enduring Powers of Attorney, wills, and letters of wishes
If you haven’t already discussed with us, and/or arranged a review, then we suggest contacting your lawyer as soon as possible to make an appointment in the new year.