Protecting the Grandkids Inheritance

Sunday 31 March 2013, 6:12PM

By Andersen Accountants Limited


There was another interesting item in Mary Holmes’s Weekend Herald column.

This query came from parents who wanted to draw up a section 21 relationship property/contracting out agreement for their child in order to protect the inheritance that the child would eventually receive. Given that a section 21 agreement can only be entered into by the actual parties (i.e. the child and his or her partner), and then only after expensive legal advice and after possibly causing considerable upset and acrimony in the relationship, the answer is no. The best option for parents in this situation is to set up a trust and place their property in the trust during their life times. The cost is likely to be far less than the cost for a section 21 agreement.

The trust deed should be drafted carefully so that a future partner of the child would be unlikely to have any claim. In addition, because the trust is something entered into by the parents it is confidential to them so it can be entered into without anyone else’s knowledge or permission. It is an effective way of protecting family wealth so that it stays in the family. A similar result can be obtained through a will but wills can be challenged. It is far better to set up a trust while you are still alive.

Kristina Andersen
Andersen Accountants Limited
Telephone: 09 3695198