Managing your family trust in the cloud

It’s common for people involved in family trusts to underestimate the ongoing management and administration requirements.
While people settle (create) a family trust as a means of providing a form of protection for assets, experts believe that if challenged, many New Zealand family trusts could be overturned.
A common reason for trust non-compliance is poor ongoing administration. This can lead to a challenge being made that there was never the intention for the assets to be truly held in a valid trust.

Problems include a lack of clear decision-making process by all trustees, poor record-keeping around decisions and the retention of documentation, mixing financial arrangement of individuals with those of the trust and more. As professional trustees for many family trusts, at GECA we recognise the importance of correctly administering a trust to ensure it is compliant with trust legislation and correctly reflects the intentions of the settlors.

To do this, we use an online trust management platform called Trustworks which allows efficient and cost effective compliance and management of trusts we are involved with.
The software brings all the parties involved in the trust and all information together within an online portal. This means that communication and information is shared by all trustees, plus the trust’s accountant, lawyer, or professional manager. It also allows other parties, such as a financial advisor to access the trust’s information if you wish.
Mandatory Trust administration requirements such as creating discussions and resolutions around trust decisions can be undertaken and shared in seconds using built-in templates. Trustees can then approve and sign resolutions and documents online. And of course, all trust records can be found easily by all parties.
And as you would expect the records are stored in multiple locations overseas with both top-levels of security and encryption. So in the event of a natural disaster or other event all the trusts records are still held securely. Much more secure than that dusty trust file kept in your bottom drawer.
Conducting a regular GECA Trust Review and using GECA’s professional trustee services will ensure your trust is compliant and meets your intentions.

To find out more about GECA’s Professional Trustee services, call Giles now on 0800 758 766 or email him.