Trusts in NZ

A family home trust, is a legal way to protect your family home and hold it for the future.


This means your family home is held by the trustees and you no longer own it. This is where the benefits come from. 


It does not mean that you can't use the home or have a say in what happens, in fact the whole idea is that the trust protects your family interests and the home now and in the future.


With 20% of homes owned by family trusts in New Zealand, trust structures are now common place. What is more interesting is 80% of these family trusts only hold the family home as the main asset. This statistic shows us that, as New Zealanders we want to be able to protect what matters most to us - our family home.


From 1 October 2011 there were changes in gift duty law making it far easier to set up a family trust and transfer the family home into it. With this change you are now able to get the full asset protection you are after now, rather than having to complete several years of a gifting programme to achieve the same protection.


Having a family home trust will give you confidence that your home is protected and will be left to those most important to you. It is critical to ensure you get the maximum protection possible by setting this up well before any adverse events occur.


To request a copy of our Family Home Trust Brochure click here


Please do have a read of our real life examples below - are any of these relevant to you, or someone you know?


is a single parent




"I have a daughter from a previous relationship and if something were to happen to me I wanted to protect my assets for her."


I set up a trust a number of years ago when I first entered the work force. I needed to ensure her future in the event of something happening to me. Setting up a trust for me was the obvious choice to protect my assets for my daughter.


Since my trust was set up, my situation has changed. This has required me to make some changes, but it's easy to do. I would recommend a trust as a great way to protect assets, especially if you have children from previous relationships. It was very easy, TrustUs made it simple.


Office Worker 30 years of age

Mike and Jayne

Are getting things sorted ahead of time




“We realised that we needed funds in the short term for the family, but also that we didn’t want each other to have to think about what to do with a $1m life insurance pay-out immediately.”  


So, we took out two policies. One for $100k for immediate needs, to relieve the pressure at an already stressful time, and the other policy for $1m going to our Family Home Trust. 


So we could be sure that this money was used for the long term needs of our family.


Are a mid 40’s double income family



has a blended family




"I have been with my partner for over 20 years where we both have adult children from previous relationships. I love my partner and her children just as much as my own."


The last thing I wanted was either side of the family forcing a sale on the family home to get their inheritance. I wanted to ensure that my partner continued to be looked after if I were to pass on, and vice versa so we set up a family trust.


We set up the family trust to ensure either of us could stay living in the family home if the other had died and that the family home could not be sold and the funds distributed to either side's children until both of us no longer needed the family home.


Teacher 52 years of age


Is a successful single woman




“The ways things have worked out, I am a single, successful woman.”  


So, while I don’t need to think about looking after my own children, I want to ensure that my family is clear that I want my assets to help create better futures for my nieces and nephews.  


So, setting up a Family Home Trust to make it clear what I wanted done with my home, and life insurance proceeds was a no-brainer.


CEO 50 years of age


is a young business owner




"I have worked very hard for everything I have and I wanted to ensure if something was to happen to me, my family would be looked after and they could not make poor financial decisions."


I spoke with a leading wealth adviser early on in my career and he said to me: if you want to be wealthy one day you also need to know how to protect your wealth for your family. Which lead me to learn about family trusts.


In the years that followed I set up a family trust to hold the family home when my wife and I bought our first home. I also did this as I knew one day I would go into business for myself and I wanted the family home to be protected for my family away from creditors and business risks.


Some years later, I did go into business for myself and now I have complete peace of mind knowing I have done everything I can to protect my families interests and what we have worked so hard for.


Company Director 35 years of age

Nicky, Andrew and Hayden

Are a young family planning ahead




“We’ve got young children, and we wanted to make sure that if anything happened to either of us (or both of us), that our kids are well looked after.”  


Setting up a Family Home Trust meant that we could be really clear about what we both wanted to do to protect our children’s future.  


We also made the Family Home Trust the owner of our life insurance policies, so that if either of us died, we had the funds to keep the family going.”


Early 30’s young home owners


has been married twice




"We were a new couple with children and assets from previous relationships and we wanted to protect our assets for our separate children and grandchildren."


I had recently lost my wife of over 20 years and had a grown up son and granddaughter. I owned my own home and was reasonably comfortably off. I suppose I never really imagined that I would find another partner and want to settle down. To my surprise it happened very quickly and I knew very early that she was so right for me.


At my age you don't have the time to delay the inevitable. I was about to go into another relationship with somebody who had young children and assets of her own. It was important to both of us that not only did we want to protect the assets we each brought to the relationship for our children, but also that we could both enjoy what we would built together as a new family.


The obvious solution was to use not just one but three trusts for both families and also for the new family, so that we could be fair to both ourselves and our children. I would recommend this to anybody in our position. Our children are old enough to understand what we have done and we all get on extremely well in the knowledge that there interests have been protected.


Business Manager 50 years of age


is a property developer




"I have worked hard as a property developer and did not want to expose my family to potential creditor risks or legal action."


I started to think about trusts when my parents started to get ill and needed to go into care. The majority of their money ended up paying for their care and left little for their grandchildren. After that experience I decided to protect my assets as best I could for my family.


What was great is TrustUs made it very clear that this service was not appropriate for me. They also made it clear that they do not give advice, but did point me in the right direction and gave me contact details for a trust expert whom could help me. What I did learn was that if you were a property developer or a builder you definitely need specialist advice.


Property Developer 45 years of age


is a builder




"As a builder I have worked hard for over 20 years and did not want to expose my family to potential creditor risks or legal action. TrustUs was great."


They made it clear that the online service was not appropriate for my needs. TrustUs also made it clear that they do not give advice.


What they did do however was give me contact details for a trust expert whom could help. What I did learn was that if you were a builder you definitely need specialist advice. It is better to be safe than sorry.


Builder Tradesman 40 years of age