We’ve encountered a couple of circumstances where the trust deed was lost and we arranged for complementary statutory declarations, which were all adapted to the particular circumstances.
In one situation, the signatories to the trust deed were all still alive and able to confirm that the signatures on the deed were their own, with a supplementary statutory declaration provided by the firm that had lost the deed (and that had retained a copy that they were able to certify as being a true copy of the original).
In another situation, we located an accountant who had taken a photocopy of the original and he was able to declare that the photocopy was a true copy of the original, with a supplementary statutory declaration covering unsuccessful searches made to locate the missing original deed.
If you can’t locate anyone who had some connection with the original deed, that would be significantly more difficult, and would pose risk for the trustees as they could not be certain that they have been acting in accordance with the terms of of the trust.
Foley Hughes, New Zealand