New Zealand’s most prominent law firm, Cone Marshall, has recently issued statements regarding the termination of established trusts on behalf of living beneficiaries. Representatives from the firm stated that the trust termination process must be discussed with beneficiaries before the mandatory termination date so that the beneficiary can attempt to make arrangements for the account. Geoffrey Cone, Cone Marshall’s CEO and founder, stated that beneficiaries must be made aware of legal trust termination dates so that they can change the beneficiary status of the specific trust account, find a legal way to alter the initial trust establishment standards, or agree to terminate the trust.
Chasing the Beneficiary Status of a Trust Account
Cone Marshall representatives stated that a client’s general answer to a mandatory trust termination is to make changes to the original beneficiary status of the trust account. By changing the beneficiary status of an account, clients can adjust or move the funds in a trust account without jeopardizing the money that is being held in the fund.
Finding Legal Ways to Alter Initial Trust Establishment Standards
Cone Marshall representatives also discussed the client’s legal right to alter initial trust establishment standards in an effort to avoid trust termination. While this option is not available to every client because trust establishment circumstances vary from case to case, most clients who are facing mandatory trust termination will have the option to alter the trust. Trusts can be altered in many ways, including the creation of new standards and terms to assist the beneficiary. Representatives from the firm suggest this method for clients who have inherited trust accounts that are more than 50 years old.
Signing an Agreement to Terminate the Trust
The final option for clients who are facing trust termination is to agree to have the account terminated. While this is not a popular method among clients who face mandatory trust termination, it is important that clients understand that this option is available to them. Cone Marshall representatives stated that clients who could not afford the maintenance of an expensive trust account could choose to relinquish the account without any additional fees. The law firm stated that this option could benefit clients and that attorneys at Cone Marshall would be available throughout the year to assist clients who face mandatory trust termination.