Trust Series 2020 – Sham Trusts and trust validity - 28 October 2020 (On Demand)


In Webb v Webb the Privy Council stated at [89] as follows:

… I will therefore confine myself to the substantive question whether Mr Webb’s powers under each of the trust deeds were such that, in equity and in all of the circumstances of this case, he can be regarded as having had rights in the trust assets which were indistinguishable from ownership. In my view he plainly can. Mr Webb had the power at any time to secure the benefit of all of the trust property to himself and to do so regardless of the interests of the other beneficiaries. In my opinion, for the reasons set out at para 87 above, the Court of Appeal was plainly entitled to find as it did that the trust deeds failed to record an effective alienation by Mr Webb of any of the trust property. The bundle of rights which he retained is indistinguishable from ownership.

This webinar will address the current law in New Zealand and internationally with respect to Sham Trusts and trust validity and will re-visit bundle of right considerations.

This webinar, which will conclude with a question and answer section, will provide an opportunity for practitioners to up-date their knowledge regarding sham trusts, trust validity and indicia of trust failure.

Topics covered will include:

  • The law relating to sham trusts
  • The Trusts Act 2019, s 15 (Creation of an Express Trust) in the context of sham trusts
  • The correlation between intention and sham
  • Sham and trust failure in other jurisdictions
  • True Effects of Trusts / Illusory trusts
  • Economic realities / economic substance
  • The extent to which the exclusion of trustee duties can impact on trust validity

A finding of sham or other failure means that the protection expected of a trust is illusory. The introduction of the Trusts Act 2019 means that consideration is being given to excluding default duties. But how far is too far? And how much will good trust terms prevail over shoddy governance? 


28 October 2020


Attendees will learn:

  • The requirements of a valid trust
  • The importance of appropriate trust governance
  • Sham or trustee negligence – what is the difference?
  • How to manage control
  • Tools to assess economic trust realities, trust validity and related considerations


This webinar is targeted at all practitioners at all levels but will be of particular interest to more experienced practitioners.


Vicki Ammundsen, Director, Vicki Ammundsen Trust Law Limited

1.25 CPD Hours

  • On Demand Event
    Complete online in your own time (Self-paced)
    • $195.00 excl. GST

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Sole practitioners

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