Trust Administration Best Practice

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Published on 21/09/2010
Elise Connor, legal executive and one of our experts on the day-to-day mechanics of trust administration, attended a seminar on trust administration presented by Dean Purdue.

Dean, who is based in Gisborne, has been presenting on issues around trust administration and farm succession for many years and is a recognised expert in his field.

Elise returned from the seminar full of smiles because she learned that the high standards set by BlackmanSpargo in trust administration were best practice.

Farmers should know that the government and the courts are critically examining the way in which trusts are being administered. More importantly, farmers need to know that the advantages of having a trust will be lost unless the trust is administered properly.

Apart from Elise being so happy that we were meeting and exceeding best practice, Dean agreed that in general those providing trust administration services needed to lift their game and improve the support and information given to professional trustees to ensure that the professional trustee was meeting their trustee obligations.

It is common practice for accountants to meet or communicate with the settlors as if they were the only trustees and then refer everything to the professional trustee or third party’s trustee to rubberstamp the accounts.

This is clearly contrary to best practice and can lead to a whole host of mistakes, some of which cannot be remedied.

Rust never sleeps, and so too Elise continues to want to make small improvements to the way we do things here. As a result of her attending this seminar, we will be undertaking a comprehensive audit of our systems and procedures and, no doubt, will be again writing to those involved in trusts and asking them to play above the line when it comes to trust administration.

Ultimately, these processes and procedures have a financial cost, but the advantages available to trusts are so important that the small cost for proper administration each year is a small price to pay for failing to do it properly and finding that the trust is ineffective.

Congratulations to Elise for such a fine job. Keep it up!


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