Trusts / Asset Planning

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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Trustee House Insurance Obligations

Created: Wednesday, 19 November 2014 13:00

How have the Christchurch earthquakes changed things for Trustees?

Following the Christchurch earthquakes, most insurers are no longer prepared to write full replacement insurance policies and instead now require that property owners nominate a 'sum insured value' for their insurance policies. This serves to cap the insurer's liability and financial exposure in the event of a substantial or total property loss.

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Trading Trusts: Are They For You?

Created: Wednesday, 05 November 2014 21:52

Published in Inside Tourism, Issue 1002, 4 November 2014

We are often asked to explain the concept of a "trading trust" and its advantages and disadvantages for operating a business.

Essentially, a trading trust is a business operated by a company in its capacity as a trustee. The trustee company is operating the business for the benefit of the discretionary beneficiaries of the trust.

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Executors: What Do They Do And Who Should Be Appointed

Created: Monday, 06 May 2013 12:00

One of the key decisions to be made when writing your will is who to appoint as executor. This choice is very important as it has ramifications for your beneficiaries and for the successful carrying out of your wishes under your will.

In short, the executor is your personal representative on your death, responsible for disposing of your body; proving the will and obtaining authority to administer your estate; paying your debts and distributing the estate. The effect of executorship is to grant the executor legal title to all your assets from the moment of death.

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What happens when things go wrong - Trustee liability for the actions of co-trustees

Created: Friday, 01 February 2013 22:15

A recent Court of Appeal case has highlighted and reaffirmed three aspects of trusteeship:

  1. A trustee is personally liable for trust debts;
  2. A trustee cannot delegate his/her trustee duties; and
  3. A trustee should ensure there is a system in place to ensure his/her co-trustees comply with their trustee obligations.

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