Blended Families – Wills and Trusts

Can it be fair for everyone?

Making sure everyone you care about gets a fair share of your property after you die is an issue most of us grapple with. This may also have additional complications when you have a blended family.

It’s not always as easy as just writing your Will and specifying who gets what. There are several statutes that give family members and/or your new partner’s family, a right to contest your Will. The two main statutes are the Family Protection Act 1955 (FPA) and the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 (PRA).

Leaving it all to your partner?

A common way of structuring your affairs is to leave everything to your partner or spouse, knowing they will provide for your children as well as their own in their Will. These are often called ‘mirror Wills’. Unfortunately, this structure doesn’t always satisfy all the children involved, as we have seen in several recent court cases. You also run the risk of your partner or spouse changing their Will at a later date after you have died.

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Time to Update Your Ts and Cs

New legislation in force from 1 September 2017

In February the Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017 (CCLA) was enacted which will repeal a number of commercial statutes and consolidate them in the CCLA. It comes into force on 1 September 2017.

If you operate a business that uses standard form contracts, terms of trade or other such documents which refer to the old laws, you should update those to take account of the new legislation.

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Business Briefs

pregnancy

Employment law changes: are you up-to-date?…
the government has introduced the Employment Standards Legislation Bill to Parliament.

Update on financial markets overhaul…
The Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 is in the process of completely overhauling New Zealand’s financial markets laws.

Incorporated societies reform ahead…
There are more than 23,500 incorporated societies in New Zealand that are currently governed by the Incorporated Societies Act 1908.

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Handshake on Shaky Ground

by Hayley McLean – solicitor Edmonds Judd

Farming is an industry that traditionally has relied on (dare I say it ladies) a man’s word. A world where a man’s word was as good as his bond and with a shake of the hand the deal was done. Over time this ethos has changed. You may blame technology, the concept of business, the dreaded “Recession” or a lack of discipline; however the issue remains that financial markets have seen a major influx of debtors on the books and creditors are finding that handshake harder to rely on. Especially when it comes to having such verbal or oral agreements tested through our court system, a system that functions on the written word…..ReadMore