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Protecting your assets for your family and your future

A trust is a legal way to hold and protect your assets for you and your family for the future (e.g. investments or property). The assets will be owned by the trust rather than by a person, and they are managed by trustees (e.g. a family member, a lawyer, or an accountant) for the beneficiaries (usually family members).

Trusts are excellent vehicles to put aside money for a certain purpose, for debt protection, to keep family property within the family, and to possibly avoid future relationship property claims.

If a trust is not set up or managed well, there can be considerable inconvenience and cost. As well, trusts may be considered “sham” trusts if the IRD or the Court deems the assets are not really the trust’s, but are yours.

Miller Johnson has years of experience working with family and charitable trusts, as well as acting as trustee. We can help you understand your responsibilities when setting up or maintaining a trust, as well as advising your accounting obligations. We work together with you and your lawyer to achieve the best outcome for you.

We can assist with:

  • Advice on the best kind of trust for you: Each type of trust has it’s own advantages and disadvantages and our accountants can help thoroughly advise on your estate planning.
  • Forming a trust: Our Auckland-based team of chartered accountants have helped our clients form hundreds of trusts over the years and can set them up promptly, and at an affordable, competitive price.
  • Preparing trust financial reports and tax returns: Fiduciary financial statements and tax returns are required at regular intervals for trusts just as they are for personal. Our accountants have a broad range of experience in these fields.
  • Administering a trust and preparing trust minutes: Trustee minutes are legal notes, regarding the decisions trustees make at meetings. We can help you out with managing these to best administer your trust.
  • Acting as a trustee: Acting as a trustee comes with a variety of legal obligations, carrying out duties conferred upon them by the trust itself. Our team of CA’s will aid you in acting in the best interests of the beneficiaries.
  • Advice on gifting: Gifting allows you to place cash, property, investments and other assets into your trust, placing them under control of the trustee. Our accountancy team’s expertise in gifting to trusts will make this process as seamless as possible for you.
  • Monitoring your investments and assets, and advising on income distribution
Contact Miller Johnson now for your FREE initial consultation


  • Do you know the reason why you want a trust?
  • Are you clear on who are the settlor, trustees and beneficiaries?
  • Have you budgeted for the start-up costs, accountancy and legal fees?
  • Are you going to manage the trust yourself, or have it managed?
  • Do you know what you want to gift or transfer into the trust?
  • Do you have a current will specifying who will be trustee after your death?
  • What impact will a new relationship have on your assets?
  • Do you have a “memorandum of directions” so that the trust maybe administered in accordance with your wishes if you are incapacitated or die?
  • Have you made sure your trust is flexible, allowing for the addition and removal of beneficiaries?