For people returning to New Zealand, trust issues will need to be carefully considered. On 31 January 2021 new trust laws come into force when the Trusts Act 2019 is fully in force. A lot of returning New Zealander’s will have organised their family financial affairs based on the circumstances of the country where were living in but a return to New Zealand will see a need to review all structures. For trusts that have been formed outside of New Zealand and do not have New Zealand as the governing law (foreign trusts) then the Trusts Act 2019 will not apply to those trusts. There will still be tax issues that need to be considered for foreign trusts and they are addressed elsewhere.

A number returning New Zealander’s will have New Zealand trusts that they are involved with that may have been set up before they left to go overseas. These trusts will be subject to the new trust laws in New Zealand. Issues such as disclosure of information to beneficiaries, increased trustee duties and the potential to increase the period of a trust and just some that need to be considered.