| INDEPENDENT TRUSTEE
Reluctantly we have made the decision that we will take on no new trusteeships and over time will look to resign the trusteeships we have. (Presently Accumulus Trustee companies act as independent trustee for over 60 client trusts.)
The main reason for this is that the potential risks and liabilities for an independent trustee just keep increasing.
Banks will usually restrict the liability of an independent trustee to the assets of the underlying trust, but no such limitation of liability is given by other potential claimants on the assets of a trust which might include, IRD, trade and other creditors and beneficiaries.
Having a trustee company as the trustee does not prevent considerable costs being imposed on the independent trustee, if as has happened on occasions, a creditor successfully petitions to wind up the trustee company.
Possible changes to the Trustee Act also seek to make the directors of trustee companies personally liable for obligations of the trust, which could negate any protection offered to independent trustees by the trustee company structure.
Accumulus will, in the meantime, continue with all existing trusteeships* but will look to resign as trustees when suitable occasions arise. This would be at a time of minimum cost or inconvenience to you, such as when the trust is undertaking some action that may anyway require the re-registration of some or all of its assets eg the purchase or sale of a property.
Our recommendation in the circumstances of our resignation is that the "Dad and Mum" trustees continue as the only trustees. Accumulus can still be fully involved as an advisor, aware of the trusts activities and minuting decisions on your behalf etc but without actually being a trustee.
*Where the trust has no operating activity and for example simply owns a residence Accumulus may be prepared to continue as independent trustee.
If you have any questions regarding the above please don't hesitate to contact us.