Trusts / Asset Planning

Making a will – Estate considerations when you’ve already helped your children financially

Created: Friday, 07 August 2020 12:19

That parents provide for their children is inherent in the parent-child relationship, and sometimes continues even as children reach adulthood. Parents with more than one adult child must often assess the merits of helping children at different times and in different ways, with outcomes that cannot be readily equalised or compared. These considerations may be at the forefront of your mind when making a will. In the High Court case of Ware v Reid & Ors [2019] NZHC 506 Dunningham J addressed this issue where the four adult children of a farming couple had each been helped into farm ownership during their parents’ lifetimes. The parents then sought to equalise this financial assistance as between their children in their respective wills.

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Changes to trust law – what the Trusts Act 2019 means for you

Created: Wednesday, 29 July 2020 08:57

New Zealand law on trusts and their operation is changing. These law changes will take effect from 30 January 2021, when the Trusts Act 2019 comes into force. The new Act will repeal the Trustee Act 1956, under which most existing trusts have been settled.

The changes will apply to both existing and future trusts, and will affect those in the roles of settlors, trustees and beneficiaries. The changes are intended to simplify trust law and make it more accessible.

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As your life changes so should your Will

Created: Monday, 01 July 2019 10:56

We all lead busy lives.  Our circumstances, and those of our family, change.  As our lives change our wills and other personal documents also need changing, or at least reviewing. 

A recent case (Sutton & Ors v Public Trust [2015] NZHC 1844 [6 August 2015]) highlights what can happen when your will has not been updated to meet a change in circumstances.  It also highlights that you need to be sure that what your will says is what you want.  Does the person drafting your will know your personal circumstances.  Do they know you? 

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Enduring Powers of Attorney - What you need to know

Created: Wednesday, 29 May 2019 17:51

In December 2016 amendments to the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1998 (“PPPR Act”) were passed by Parliament. These amendments will come into force on 16 March 2017. Among the amendments that have been made are regulations to adopt new forms of the enduring powers of attorney (EPA). From 16 March 2017 these new forms will need to be used. If you have completed an EPA using the old forms but you and/or your attorney have not signed them before 16 March 2017, then these will need to be redone on a new form.

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Enduring Powers of Attorney

Created: Wednesday, 29 May 2019 17:39

Enduring powers of attorney (EPA) may be used to cover situations in which a person does not have the ability to manage his or her own affairs.

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Who do you want to control your Estate?

Created: Wednesday, 29 May 2019 16:54

It is estimated that only about half of New Zealand adults have a will. Even where there is a will in place, it may no longer be valid (a will is revoked on marriage or civil union) or relevant to the will-maker's current circumstances. Our busy lives mean many people delay signing and/or updating their will. The consequences of dying without a valid will are often not appreciated.

Family dynamics are much more complicated in our modern world. Blended families, that is where at least one of the partners has a child not biologically related to the other partner, are common. People are re-partnering later in their lives. These factors result in complicated and more frequent family disputes upon the death of a loved one. These can be minimised where there is a valid will and appropriate estate planning.

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