Trust Set Up and Administration

This article will guide you through the start to finish process of manually creating a trust profile. If you have a large number of trusts (or corporate trustee companies) please see our article for more information on our bulk import process.


1. Things to prepare before setting up your trust

2. Corporate Trustee Companies

3. Manually create a trust

4. Adding Associated Parties

5. Retiring an associated party and Recording Historical Roles

6. Editing appointment dates or removing a beneficiary or trustee added in error

7. Linking a Corporate Trustee Company

8. How to set up beneficiary classes (eg children of the settlors)

9. Uploading documents & minute book


Things to prepare before setting up your trust

To speed up the process of setting up your trust in Connectworks it’s a good idea to compile key information in one place.

The excel template pictured below covers the key information you'll require during set up and is available to download and complete for each trust (just click the link & download using the "File" menu).

Refer to the original trust deed (and any variations to the deed) to gather the information. However, missing details can still be added directly into the trust once loaded in Connectworks.

Trust Information Template - Download



Corporate Trustee Companies

If your trust has an active (i.e. not retired) corporate trustee company, it is important to load this into Connectworks prior to setting up your trust. Importing the company first enables you to link the company to its associated trust/s and create an accurate record of the roles held by the company. Corporate trustee companies are free of charge to manage within Connectworks when there is an associated trust subscribed.

NB. If there is no active corporate trustee company skip this step and move on to section 3. Manually create a trust

Bulk importing corporate trustee companies

If you have large number of companies you want to set up, but don’t want to spend the time importing or creating them one by one, please see our support article on Bulk Importing Companies.

How to Import your Corporate Trustee Company

First check if the corporate trustee company is already loaded in your Connectworks Firm Profile:

1. Select Clients (left-hand column), then Companies (top tab), then search for the company name using the search bar. If the company appears then skip the next step and move on to section 3. Manually create a trust

2. If the company does not appear when you search for it, you will need to import it from the Companies Office. Select the “I would like to” drop-down, then “Import a Corporate Trustee Company” Simply type the name, company number or NZBN into the search bar that appears and then select “Import



Manually create a trust

1. Go to Clients (left column) then Trusts (top tab). Select the “I would like to” dropdown and “Create a new trust

2. Using your Trust Information Template (completed during section 1. Things to prepare before setting up your trust) enter as much detail as you can about the trust. 

Be sure to select a subscription plan for the trust, or you will not be able to proceed from this step. If unsure please see our article on Trust Subscription Plans & Pricing.

Important: Entering the settlement date during this step will save a lot of manual data entry. The settlement date will auto-complete the appointment date of all beneficiaries, trustees etc. In most cases this is correct and means only later appointed trustees/beneficiaries will require updating. If the settlement date is left blank it will default to the date of set up, and all people associated with the trust will require manual updating.

3. It is good practice to change the “Set Up Status" to preparing. This creates a flag in the overall trust list, allowing other staff to easily filter for and identify trusts which may be incomplete.

Later you can update this status to “review” for a manager to check, “attention” or “alert” for missing information, or “set up complete” when you are satisfied all information has been added to the profile.

5. When you are satisfied that the details of the trust have been recorded select “Create”. You will be automatically redirected to the new Trust Workspace. This is the overview which displays all key information regarding the trust.

You can then access, create and edit things such as documents and people associated to the trust using the tabs in the left hand column.

You can edit key details about the trust at any time by selecting “Edit Trust Profile” in the top right.



Adding Associated Parties

After setting up your trust profile click into the Trust Workspace to add the associated people & entities. To create an accurate historic record of the trust Connectworks recommends you record both active associations and retired associations.

To add an Association:

1. Access the Parties tab from within the Trust Workspace.
2. Select “Add associated party”.
3. It is good practice to add associates using the "search your contacts" function to prevent setting up duplicate profiles for the same person. If no match appears in the search, proceed with completing details using the "Add new instead" button.



Retiring an Associated Party and Recording Historical Roles

After adding all associated parties (active and historical) as per the previous step, retire any associated parties who are no longer active.

1. Still in the Trust Workspace>Parties tab select the associated party to be retired with the tick box, and then edit the profile using the Cogs.

2. You will now be given the option of entering a retirement date against the contact. Complete this detail and select save & close.


Optional: If you would like to make the parties tab display only active associations by default, remove any access rights for retired associations - select the contact in the list using the tick box and then use the Cogs drop down to select the “Remove access”. This helps to prevent errors such as accidentally inviting retired contacts into Connectworks.



Editing appointment dates or removing a beneficiary or trustee added in error

By default Connectworks locks appointment dates so they cannot be changed later. To resolve an incorrect appointment date entered against a person you will need to un-assign and reassign them from the role. Select the “I made a mistake, remove from history” and then re-appoint with the correct date.


If you’ve accidentally assigned someone to the wrong role, simply click into the edit profile screen and select the “I made a mistake, remove from history” option. Then update and close.

After removing an assigned role you may wish to delete the record completely from the trust profile. You can discard them by selecting the person in the Parties tab and then using the drop down menu on the main list. Only discard parties this way if they have no historical associations to the trust. Parties with assigned roles cannot be discarded.


Linking a Corporate Trustee Company

1. To link your trust to the Corporate Trustee Company loaded in section 2. Importing a Corporate Trustee Company simply select “Add associated party” and search for the company name in the existing client or contact field. When it appears in the list select it and continue adding details as you would for any other trustee. Remember to change the appointment date, if different from the auto-completed date.

2. If your company does not appear in the search, return to Clients>Companies menu and import it as per section 2. Importing a Corporate Trustee Company


How to set up beneficiary classes (eg children of the settlors)

Not all trust deeds specify all associations by name. It is particularly common for beneficiaries to be named as “Children of the Settlors” or “Grandchildren of the Settlors”. Due to AML requirements we recommend using legal names wherever possible, however, we understand this will not always be possible.

If a full legal name is not available/cannot be provided, but you would like to enter a beneficiary class that can be easily merged using one of our precedent templates, simply select “Add associated party” and enter the desired text to appear in documents into the last name field. Then complete the profile as you would for all other associated parties.

When you can obtain the full legal name of the associated party enter them as an individual and also add notes on their role in the trust in the “additional notes” section of their profile. This adds clarity to their association, without having to refer to the trust deed.


Uploading documents & minute book

For details on best practice document management in Connectworks please see out document management training module here.