Trusts / Asset Planning

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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Beware: Disclosure Rules for Foreign Trusts Have Tightened

Created: Wednesday, 15 March 2017 15:14

In February 2017 the New Zealand Parliament completed its third reading of the Taxation (Business Tax, Exchange of Information and Remedial Matters) Bill which is due to come into law soon. The Bill introduces new laws for the administration of New Zealand foreign trusts.  The reforms are based on the recommendations of the Shewan Inquiry which was set up as a result of the Mossack Fonseca data leak in April 2016 (the ‘Panama Papers’).  The report raised concerns about the need for disclosure rules relating to foreign trusts registered around the world.  The New Zealand Government has decided to enact the new law to ensure New Zealand's reputation is maintained. 

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Why have a Trust?

Created: Thursday, 02 March 2017 08:27

There are many reasons for creating a trust, and our team of trust experts briefly cover them here.

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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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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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