family & property lawspecialists

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Estates & estate planning

With a team that has experience ranging from 4-29 years we are well positioned to help and advise you on all estates & estate planning issues. So have a look below and find the specific area that relates to your issue and then get in touch...

 

Wills

Estate Planning - Rachael Dewar lawIt is important to have an up-to-date Will for several reasons:

  • so that you can make sure your property is left to the people you want to leave it to
  • so your loved ones know your funeral wishes
  • it allows you to appoint a guardian for your children
  • to avoid dying “intestate” (without a will) which means your property is divided amongst your family according to a set formula. This might be quite different to what you intended.

Signing a new Will is especially important when you separate, as your old will continues until replaced by a new one. This means your property would be left to your former partner instead of your children.

Your circumstances may also change over time, so it is important that you review your Will regularly, at least every five years.

Whether you would like to review your existing Will, or write a new Will, we can help.  Please contact Colette at  colette@dewarlaw.co.nz, who can answer all your questions and provide a fee estimate.

You can also read the Law Society’s Guide to Making a Will and Estate Administration.

Enduring powers of attorney

In an era of strict adherence to privacy laws, Enduring Powers of Attorney have become essential legal documents. They allow a person to delegate the power to make decisions about their personal care and property to another person. That power continues in force even after you lose the mental capacity to make decisions yourself.

Hospitals, Retirement Villages and Rest Homes will often not act unless Enduring Powers of Attorney are in place, which must be done before a person loses capacity. Failure to put Enduring Powers of Attorney in place may lead to family members having to apply to the courts to be appointed as welfare guardians or property managers, at considerable cost.

If you would like to discuss your need for Enduring Powers of Attorney please contact Colette at colette@dewarlaw.co.nz.

You can also read the New Zealand Law Society’s Guide to Powers of Attorney.

Property sharing agreement

In a rapidly rising property market, it is not uncommon for family or friends to pool their money and buy property together.  In those circumstances, it is important that all parties understand their obligations to each other. You need to agree on how each will contribute to the purchase and ongoing costs, what happens if someone moves out, and what happens if one person wants to realise their investment.

A Property Sharing Agreement is designed to record all these expectations in writing, and provide a default mechanism for selling the property in the event that the parties cannot agree.

If you would like to discuss your need for a Property Sharing Agreement please contact Colette at colette@dewarlaw.co.nz

Multi-generation housing agreements

It is becoming increasingly common for two or three generations of one family to share a house. For example by building a secondary dwelling (a “granny flat”) or converting part of a home into independent accommodation.

In circumstances where a parent may be funding part of the purchase price of a property, it is very important that all family members understand:

  • the nature of the parent’s investment;
  • how the parent’s other children will access their inheritance in due course;
  • whether there are any care expectations associated with the shared housing arrangement;
  • how they can reverse the arrangement if it isn’t working out.

If you are considering a multi-generation housing arrangement please contact Colette at colette@dewarlaw.co.nz to discuss having an agreement drawn up to protect all family members and avoid family conflict.

Family protection claims

If you believe you have been unfairly left out of a family will then we can look into it for you and advise whether you have a claim on the estate. We can also negotiate with the will’s executors on your behalf to have things put right. If that is not successful then we can further your cause by helping you apply to the Court.

On the other hand, if you are a beneficiary of a will and someone makes a claim against your share we can recommend the best course of action open to you.

If you would like to discuss a Family Protection claim please contact Rachael at rachael@dewarlaw.co.nz in the first instance.


To see if we can help you contact Rachael Dewar
t - 04 891 0500
f - 04 891 0503 rachael@dewarlaw.co.nz

Level 9, 38-42 Waring Taylor Street, Wellington
PO Box 5786, Wellington 6145

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