Trusts / Asset Planning

Who do you want to control your Estate?

Created: Tuesday, 08 March 2016 09:25

It is estimated that only 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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I am receiving an inheritance - do I have to share it with my spouse/partner?

Created: Wednesday, 28 October 2015 22:27

THE PROPERTY (RELATIONSHIPS) ACT 1976 ("THE ACT")

The Act applies to all marriages, civil unions and de facto relationships. The Act deals with the division of property upon the end of a relationship whether that be through death or separation.

Under the Act property is divided into two categories:

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As your life changes so should your Will

Created: Wednesday, 14 October 2015 12:28

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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You are incapacitated - Who is looking after all your assets?

Created: Wednesday, 09 September 2015 15:03

It is estimated that 60,000 New Zealanders are afflicted by dementia.  However, in the next 35 years it is projected this is going to increase threefold to more than 150,000.  One of the issues that arises when somebody is diagnosed as being incapacitated, whether by dementia or otherwise, is “who has control over their property affairs?”  There are two choices of formal arrangements which are provided for by law.  These are:

  1. either the person has signed an enduring power of attorney (“EPA”) that appoints someone, often a family member, to take control; or 
  2. an application is made to the Court to appoint a property manager.

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Accessing Capital in Your Home

Created: Wednesday, 08 April 2015 10:11

Funding Options for the Over 60s - Issues for Estates/Remarriages

It is common for those in retirement years to find themselves asset rich but cash poor. This problem is highlighted when the unexpected large bill arrives and funds must be found. There are a number of options available for accessing funds but each must be considered in light of the particular circumstances.

For example, a couple, Mr and Mrs Brown, have been married for 50 years, and have three adult children. They are living in their own home which has a value of $550,000 and is mortgage free. They have just discovered they have to repair the roof which will cost $30,000. They have no cash reserves to fund this repair. What can they do?

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The Retirement Village Option – Lifestyle Paradise or A Financial Cost?

Created: Monday, 30 March 2015 21:40

The growth of the retirement village industry is a defining feature of lifestyle for the elderly in the 21st century. Many elderly people view moving into a retirement village unit as a safe, secure and convenient way of life. However the financial and opportunity costs involved in entering into a retirement village need to be carefully considered.

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