Many people realise that they need a Trust to safe-guard their family's
assets - but too often, due to the mystique and jargon surrounding
them, people have felt obliged to use lawyers or large institutions
to set them up. Trusts
On-line has been put together by accountants, lawyers and
computer professionals. Amongst our ranks we have many years of
experience in setting up and administering Family Trusts, and many
years Information Technology experience. We
decided it was time to bring our experience to bear, so that all
families could share in the benefits of a Family Trust, without
the expense. Plus
we decided it was time to harness the power of the Internet, so
that your Trust can be set up and maintained when you want - not
when someone else feels like it. So
that's our philosophy - a quality product, a great price, and a
service that can be used whenever you want.
Why we set up Trusts On-Line.
Over the past decade or so we have constantly found a gap between
lawyers and accountants when it comes to Family Trusts. The lawyers
write minutes; accountants prepare accounts; and the lawyers prepare
the gifting. There is often no link between these parties, which
can potentially be disastrous. In the last few years we have witnessed
many narrow escapes, where families who thought they were protecting
themselves and their families have come perilously close to losing
a great deal. In most parts this has been due to lack of connection
between the accountant and the lawyer. For example: Gifting has
been made on money previously withdrawn from the Trust; Accounts
have been prepared still showing houses sold up to 4 years earlier.
The primary aim of Trusts On-Line is to permit the
generation of accounts based on minutes, and therefore more accurately
produce information from the Trust minutes and, in the case of the
Trust having an accountant, to give that accountant accurate information
of the minuted activities of the Trust, without losing control of
the minute book. This in turn permits more control of gifting, as
often lawyers preparing the gift statements are not aware of day-to-day
transactions such as lump sum withdrawals or accounting transactions
that result in a drop in the loan to be gifted. [We heard of one
such problem in early 2003 which cost one giftor c.$8000 in penalties
from the IRD, for a minor problem caused by gifting timing (current
New Zealand laws surrounding gifting is extremely harsh on oversights,
with large percentage based penalties and no provision for the IRD
to overlook these penalties even for slight timing issues).]
While setting up Trusts On-Line we were requested
to allow everyday people to set up Trusts themselves, directly from
the website, in such a way as to cater for each individual's circumstances.
This we believe we have achieved.
As a result of all this, The Trusts On-Line website
not only allows you to set up your Trust, but helps you to administer
it too; you can produce minutes, add and remove Trustees, generate
gifting documents, buy and sell assets, produce balance sheets,
and so forth.
When establishing Trusts On-Line, we set ourselves the challenge
to generate a Trust Deed, in plain English, which non-legally trained
people could read and understand, using the same base questions
as lawyers ask. We realise that Trustees need to understand the
Trust Deed to be able to administer it properly; not everyone has
the time (or money) to go to a lawyer each time they want to do
something on behalf of the Trust. So the Trust Deed was written
to give what we feel is maximum power to the Trustees to benefit
We have also been asked about wills and charitable
trusts. The capabilities of Trusts On-Line is being added to all
the time; we expect to be able to generate wills and support charitable
We are also looking at hosting a number of seminars
countrywide, for two reasons: so we can assist people in making
informed decisions about their Family Trusts; and so we can find
out first hand what people want from our on-line service. Expect
to hear an announcement about our seminar series soon.
We seek to provide a quality product, that provides everything you
require to maintain your Trust. Need something we don't provide?
Tell us, we will add it if we deem it of use. Is something not explained
properly? Tell us, so we can improve it.
To measure how we stand, we entered the 2006 Computerworld
Excellence Awards, where we made it to the final three. This
gives us a yardstick to help us measure our performance compared
to others. We continually strive to improve.
Trusts On-Line and the Community.
As Trusts On-Line has developed we have also looked at how we can
benefit the community. We offer fundraising facilities for clubs
and schools and are involved in charitable donations as a percentage
of profit to a project helping educate less fortunate children in
the pacific region. Our seminars will also be in conjunction with
charitable organisations. Please feel free contact us if you want
to know more about our fundraising work or the charitable organisation
we deal with, or would like to see if Trusts On-Line can assist
you in your fundraising efforts.
Chartered accountant, East Auckland
Alistair is originally from central Taranaki . His work with
Family Trusts began in 1995, when he became a qualified Chartered
Accountant. Alistair is responsible for much of the financial
and accounting expertise behind Trusts On-Line.
His other work involves all aspects of Chartered Accountancy,
including business structure, Trust work, tax, budgeting and
IT Consultant, West Auckland.
Born in London, Paul has been involved in the computer industry
for over 20 years, and has assisted some of the largest companies
in New Zealand over the past 12 years. Paul is responsible
for coordinating the database and programming effort that
is behind the Trust On-Line websites.
Paul was keen to be involved with Trusts On-Line for personal
reasons: a number of years ago he set up his Family Trust
through a lawyer at a cost of thousands. Thereafter he received
no help or information about what to do next - and assumed
to his own cost that he needed do nothing! So much of what
Trusts On-Line offers is built on personal experience and
requirements from a Family Trust owner.
(2nd left) and the lovely Genny with Kim and Corbett of More
FM Auckland for "The
Battle of the Sexes".