Private Client Advisory

Tailoring strategic legal solutions to help you make the best choices in your personal property and business affairs, and to safeguard those you care about.

While you are working and doing business, life goes on and you are faced with multiple complex decisions about legal issues from property purchases to wills and estates. You may need to know how to arrange your assets to protect your family when entering a new business venture. You may want to ensure that property disputes won't affect your new relationship by entering into a relationship property agreement. Or you may need to end your current relationship.

Brookfields will help you to choose the best structures for your business and your life, which enable you to plan ahead. All work is handled by qualified and experienced professionals so you are assured of receiving authoritative legal advice plus a high level of personal attention.

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Auckland Office: +64 9 379 9350

Wellington Office: +64 4 499 9824

Email:

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You can get advice about:

  • Guardianship, paternity issues and education / school disputes
  • Defamation disputes
  • Elder care including aged care agreements, retirement villages and residential care subsidies
  • Employment arrangements and grievances
  • Protecting your ideas - intellectual property issues
  • Relationships and relationship property agreements and spousal support
  • Sale and purchase of property or businesses
  • Succession planning
  • Tenancy issues
  • Trusts and asset planning and risk minimisation, including powers of attorney
  • Wills and estates including probate and letters of administration, Family protection and Testamentary promises claims
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Charities and Not for Profits

The Charities and Not for Profit sector is an increasingly complex area with the law requiring stringent observance of the rules by those who run said organisations. In terms of structure, there is no easy answer as to what will work.

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Dissolution

You can only dissolve your marriage or civil union by proving to the Court that you and your spouse/partner have been living apart for two years. This is the only way of legally ending a marriage or civil union. There are no other grounds for dissolution, (formerly called divorce) such as adultery or irreconcilable differences, or consent of both parties.

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Elder Law

Being old is not a disability. However, as you advance in years you do have different legal needs and you may wish to interact with us differently. Your needs will be paramount with us. If you need us to visit you at home we will do so. Our aim is to ensure that your legal affairs are in order for you to enjoy your golden years.

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Family Protection

When a close relative, usually a parent or partner, passes away leaving little or nothing to their child or widow/er the Family Protection Act 1955 enables that person to make a claim for provision in the will. Such claims are based upon the notion that the willmaker owes the claimant a "moral duty" whether financial or sentimental or both, to adequately provide for the claimant in his or her will. The concept of "moral duty", developed through case law, is determined using the standard of a "wise and just testator".

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Guardianship

A legal guardian is a person whom the law recognises as having all the duties, powers, rights and responsibilities in relation to the upbringing of a child. Legal guardians contribute to the child's intellectual, emotional, physical, social, cultural and personal development of a child. They therefore have the responsibility of making very important decisions in a child's life.

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Immigration

Brookfields provides quality immigration assistance and advice to those wishing to migrate to New Zealand. We can also assist with introductions to business, investment/taxation and property services.

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Paternity

Paternity establishes who the father of a child is. Applications of this kind require sensitivity given the issue goes directly to the issue of the child's identity and can lead to other consequences, including child support.

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Protection of Personal and Property Rights

It can be a difficult time for a family when a loved one or someone close to you can no longer make decisions relating to their personal affairs. It is a sad reality of life that at some stage you may need to make decisions regarding the welfare and property matters of friends or family who can no longer make those decisions themselves - whether through age, illness or accident.

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Relationship Property

When people who have shared their lives with one another decide to go it alone, disputes may arise over who gets what. Relationship property (once called matrimonial property) is the assets and liabilities owned by individuals who are in a marriage, a civil union or de facto relationship. The Property (Relationships) Act 1976 establishes a presumption of equal sharing of relationship property.

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Residential Real Estate

Residential real estate impacts most of Brookfields' clients. Most of our clients own their own home. Many of our clients purchase residential property as part of their investment portfolio. There is a view that conveyancing is formulaic and can be done by anyone. From our experience of later picking up the pieces, this is often not the case.

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Spousal Maintenance and Support

After a relationship has ended, one of the partners may need financial support. Spousal support (or maintenance) can be awarded for a temporary fixed period or a longer ongoing (reasonable) time. It can apply whether you are married or in a de facto relationship or civil union. Often it is awarded in situations where one partner has sacrificed their career to look after the children or support the other partner.

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Testamentary Promises

Sometimes a promise to provide for someone in a will can be enforced by the court after that person's death. If the deceased promised to leave you something in their will in return for work or services that you carried out for them while they were alive, then you may be able to bring a claim against the deceased's estate under the Law Reform (Testamentary Promises) Act 1949.

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Trusts, Asset Protection & Estate Planning

From the moment you start acquiring them, you need to think about ways of protecting your assets. Our asset protection and trusts group has extensive experience in reviewing your situation and helping you to choose a structure that will best meet your needs.

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Wills, Probate and Administration

We all have to go sometime - right? Whatever the circumstances of your departure, there are some plans you should have in place to deal with the "what ifs". What if you have kids? What if you don't? What if you are in the process of ending a relationship? What if you have set up a trust already? Planning ahead helps you relax now.

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