Trust Series 2024 – Capacity and duress for trustees - 3 April 2024 (On Demand)


A ticking time bomb

Testamentary capacity is largely well understood. However, the requisite capacity to settle a trust, draft or update (or revoke) a memorandum of wishes or to exercise appointor powers is less clear cut.

In the context of trusts, it may also be appropriate to consider capacity through not just the lens of a comparator with testamentary capacity or capacity in a medical context, but also capacity in a broader construct as the capacity to functionally act as a settlor, trustee and appointor or to exercise powers that touch on a trust.

As observed by the Court of Appeal in Gorringe v Pointon at [21]:

“… a party alleging undue influence in respect of an inter vivos gift may rely on an evidential presumption of influence … the transaction “calls for explanation …”

This webinar will explore the range of matters trustees and their advisers need to be live to with respect to capacity, duress and undue influence.


The webinar, which will conclude with a question-and-answer section, will consider capacity, undue influence and duress (in a trust context) by refence to case law and the relevant legislation.

 Topics covered will include:

  • Relevant tests of capacity
  • Indicia of undue influence and duress
  • Capacity and inter vivos gifts
  • Duress and undue influence with respect to exercise of appointor powers and memoranda of wishes
  • Steps to take to address concerns regarding capacity and wider considerations

Cases considered include:

  • Public Trust v The Cancer Society of New Zealand, Otago and Southland Division Incorporated [2023] NZHC 2724
  • Schuitema v Schuitema [2023] NZHC 1473
  • Gorringe v Pointon [2023] NZCA 42
  • Green v Green [2015] NZHC 1218; [2016] NZCA 486
  • Grand View Private Trust v Wang [2022] UKPC 47
  • GB Trustees Limited v Stock [2021] JRC 048
  • Mason v Triezenberg [2022] NZSC 99


Capacity is a commonly considered aspect of the ability to make a will or act as a trustee but is commonly overlooked in the wider exercise of trust related decisions, rights and powers. We will explore the relevant considerations in a practical context and will set out questions that will assist to formulate relevant considerations and courses of action.


3 April 2024


  • matters to take into consideration when considering capacity for trust purposes
  • how to address capacity with settlors and trustees
  • appropriate record keeping, and
  • capacity warning signs


This webinar is targeted at all practitioners at all levels but will be of particular interest to practitioners who advise settlors, trustees or beneficiaries.


Vicki Ammundsen, Director, Vicki Ammundsen Trust Law Limited.

1.5 CPD Hours

  • On Demand Event
    • $215.00 excl. GST
    Complete online in your own time (Self-paced)
    • $215.00 excl. GST

Coming Soon

All Coming Soon >>


Our webinars operate on a 'one-connection-one-fee' basis so you can have your whole team participate for one cost effective price and claim CPD points.


All registrants to a live webinar will automatically be sent a recording at the end of that week along with a full transcript of the webinar, regardless of whether you attended or not.

Sole practitioners

A discount on webinars is available for sole practitioners. Please contact us at NZ‑ to confirm eligibility.