The History of Trusts
The history of trusts can be traced back to before the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.
It was not uncommon in times of crusades that a land owner would transfer his land to a friend
for safe keeping and for benefit of his family whilst he was away. Unfortunately, if the land was
returned to the original landowner upon his return from a crusade there was no legal recourse
to recover the land.
In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, development of the rules of equity were commenced by
the Chancellor that allowed the former landowner or his family to enforce their rights.
Interestingly trusts were often used to avoid feudal dues upon death if no adult heir existed. King
Henry VIII introduced
what is one of the first examples of tax avoidance legislation, the Statute of Uses 1535, to combat
the loss of revenue,
however, by about 1650 a legal means of defeating the Statute was developed. This new means involved
person A transferring
the property in trust to person B for the use of person C.
Today person A is known as the settlor, person B the trustee and person C the beneficiary.
Person B becomes the legal owner of the property, but the equitable ownership belongs to person C .
It is worthy to note that the settlor no longer has any ownership rights in the property.
Trusts in New Zealand
More and more Kiwi’s, are protecting their assets and their loved ones by setting up Family Trusts.
It is estimated that there are between 300,000 and 500,000 trusts operating in New
Essentially, a Family Trust allows you to transfer ownership of your assets while you are still
unlike a will which only comes into effect upon the death of the will maker.
Trusts have become a very important tool in asset planning, particularly as the complexities of
and relationships have evolved. Asset planning involves the identification of assets and future
and then identifying threats to achieving those goals and implementing a device to mitigate or
those threats from achieving the goals.
Planning ahead can offer greater control and privacy. A Trust is not just for the wealthy, a trust
used by anyone wishing to plan ahead. A Trust can serve many purposes - from financing educational
providing maintenance to children, grandchildren or other relatives or simply planning to pass
generations and specifying specific people that can benefit from that Trust.
Norrie & Daughters provides a range of trust services designed to help our clients with asset
planning and establishing a trust.
See how Norrie & Daughters can help you to protect not only your material assets but the best
interests of your loved ones as well.