Through our New Zealand office, we can advise on, establish and manage both simple and complex trusts, which hold entities and assets across numerous jurisdictions.
New Zealand is a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), it has a well-developed infrastructure and is regularly cited as being a safe and politically stable jurisdiction in which wealth can be administered, protected and developed.
New Zealand trust law is derived from English trust law. Trust jurisprudence is robust and well understood by lawyers, judges and accountants.
New Zealand permits the establishment of foreign trusts which are exempt from New Zealand tax. In the typical case of a foreign settlor settling (non-New Zealand) assets into a New Zealand foreign trust for the benefit of non-New Zealand beneficiaries, such a trust would be exempt from income tax.
Furthermore, New Zealand does not have capital gains tax, inheritance tax and gift tax.
New Zealand as a jurisdiction provides the following features which are beneficial for international trust and wealth planning purposes:
- A member of the OECD group of countries
- A party to numerous important Double Taxation Treaties and Taxation Information Exchange Agreements
- Comprehensive anti-money laundering legislation
- Trusts may operate for a maximum of 80 years (soon to be extended to 125 years) and may be terminated at any time.
- A New Zealand trust may hold property, trade or operate a business.
There are some unique features of New Zealand trust law including the ability to have protectors, investment advisors and trustees with wide discretionary powers and the ability to add and remove beneficiaries. A protector or investment manager, who again need not be New Zealand resident, can be given relevant advisory and discretionary powers. New Zealand is not a signatory to the Hague Convention on Trusts and Their Recognition, and some aspects of New Zealand trust law are not compatible with the Convention.