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Wills and Trusts...

 

Wills and Powers of Attorney

The Will has become one of the most important personal documents in a person’s life.  Each Will must be crafted to meet an individual’s needs.  There are so many different requirements and wishes, some of which arise from the increase in blended families, changes in relationships, and more and more people have got a financial estate to leave to those dearest to them on their death.  

JAG Legal takes time over Wills because it is so important that they are both right and express clearly the wishes of the Will maker.  

In addition to Wills, Powers of Attorney, particularly Enduring Powers of Attorney, have become more important.  Older persons entering into a care facility are often required to provide an enduring power of attorney to make clear who is nominated as attorney.  In many ways, the enduring power of attorney has replaced the historic “next of kin” person in a person’s life.  

There are now many choices that can be made in how and enduring power of attorney may be carried out and it is important to spend time to ensure that the form of power of attorney meets the requirements and the desire of the person granting the power of attorney.  

 


Family Trusts

For a number of clients it has been appropriate for them to develop a family trust model and to transfer their assets to the family trust.

There are many options when forming a family trust to ensure that the trust best suits your needs and those of your family.  

Maintenance of the family trust is also important.  That maintenance can include reviewing who should be the trustees, reviewing which assets should be held within the family trust and whether you should gift or advance money to the family trust to enable those assets to move into the hands of the trustees.

For some people, it becomes appropriate for them to wind up their trust, particularly in retirement, if the trust is going to serve no further purpose for them.  

As everybody’s circumstances are unique, the creating of the trust, the maintenance of the trust and consideration as to when the trust should be wound up needs to be considered on an individual basis with each client.

 

Estates

When a person dies having left a Will, then the executors are required to obtain an order for Probate from the High Court of New Zealand if the total estate exceeds $15,000.  If the deceased person has not left a Will, then an order for Letters of Administration needs to be obtained. 

JAG Legal assists clients with applications to the High Court for the appropriate order and assisting with the estate administration where required by the executors.

There are times when not everybody agrees with the Will of the deceased.  There is an opportunity for claims to be made by certain people against estates and s are happy to assist with those claims where appropriate.  The claims can arise from:

  • Relationship property rights

  • A testamentary promise

  • Family protection for certain persons in the immediate family of the deceased