When is Your House the "Family Home"? / Will my House be Split 50/50?

Monday, September 03, 2018

A special status is given to the "family home" in relationship property disputes under the relevant legislation, the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 ("the Act").  Read more

Domestic Violence Case Law Update:

Thursday, September 07, 2017

 SN v MN [2017] NZCA 289  Read more

Reduced Limitation Periods Have Significant Consequences for Mortgagees

Thursday, September 07, 2017

 Read more

Residential-Care Subsidy Update - Eligibility Improved

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The High Court, in Broadbent v The Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Development [2017] NZHC 1499 (a test case), has told the Ministry of Social Development that it is not correctly applying the means testing assessment for income when determining someone's eligibility for a residential-care subsidy. Read more

Are You in a De Facto Relationship?

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

It is common knowledge that when a married couple in New Zealand gets divorced, they, general speaking, get half each of all the property owned by the parties.  In New Zealand this asset division also extends to de facto relationships of more than three years, but what is a de facto relationship?  A marriage is easy to identify:  there is a wedding, someone cuts the cake, there is usually an adorable child in charge of the rings and most importantly, a legal document; a marriage certificate which says you are married.  However, de facto relationships are not so easy to identify. Read more

When Charity Does Not Begin at Home and Testamentary Freedom Triumphs

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The truism that charity begins at home might have been given a serious knock back going by the recent UK Supreme Court decision concerning an adult daughter's claim against her mother's estate in IIott v Mitson [2017] UKSC 17.  Read more

Are You Getting Your Fair Share of Relationship Property Upon a Break Up?

Thursday, April 06, 2017

The Property (Relationships) Act 1976 ("the Act") applies to marriages, civil unions and de facto relationships.  Generally under the Act, at the end of one of these relationships, the parties receive a 50:50 share of all the relationship property.  This usually includes the home, family chattels, and all other property acquired during the relationship.  However the Court does have the power to award a lump sum payment or order the transfer of relationship property from one party in the relationship to the other under Section 15 of the Act. Read more

Will That Do? - Validation of Non-Compliant Wills

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Before a deceased's last will can have the legal effect of distributing property to his or her heirs accordingly to its terms, it must be admitted to probate, that is accepted by the High Court as being valid. Read more

The New Draft Trusts Bill and its Suggested Disclosure Rules - How Could This Affect You?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A new Trusts Bill has recently been released for public consultation.  This bill updates and changes various aspects of trust law.  One interesting proposed change is the rights beneficiaries have to trust information.  The most recent judicial case involving beneficiaries and trust information is Erceg v Erceg [2017] NZSC 28.  The Supreme Court did not find that there was a presumption for or against disclosure of trust documents, but that there is an "expectation that basic trust information will be disclosed to a close beneficiary who wants it".  The Supreme Court's analysis did differ from the lower Courts.  The Supreme Court listed certain factors to take into consideration when courts receive a request for disclosure.  They are: Read more

Are You Entitled To Value From Your (Soon-to-Be) Ex-Spouse's or Ex-Partner's Trust?

Monday, March 13, 2017

What happens if your relationship ends and your spouse/partner has previously settled property in a trust?  If the trust is valid, and there have been no dispositions to which the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 applies, there are two ways you may make a claim against that property. Read more

Recent Posts


Broadbent v Ministry of Social Development Eviction Work and Income Limitation Act 2010 Duress De facto Wills Act 2007 Section 14 Offending Testamentary writing Financial Advisers Act 2008 Health and Safety Reform Bill Casual employee Section 182 Family Proceedings Act 1980 Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 (FMCA) Changes Vessel surveyor Skilled migrant Terms of Trade Administrators duty Mortgagor Limitation Act 1950 Trust Check Up ''Best Endeavours'' Ministry of Social Development Lump sum Seperation Resident Physical abuse Mortgagee Wills Act 2007 Section 11 Validity of Wills Section 15A Beneficiary Rights Family Court Matrimonial Home Interest Residential KiwiSaver Invalid wills Relationship Property Part payment Domestic Violence Act 1995 Blackwell v Hollings Immigration Trust Confidentiality Wills Act 2007 Section 8 Company Law Trusts Bill Clayton case Valid wills Acknowledgment SN v MN [2017] NZCA 289 Charity Landlord Incapacity Limitation period Protection Order Claims against estates Testamentary freedom Limitation defence Skilled migrant points Document Disclosure Compensation Litigation Consumer credit contracts Six years Commercial Property Privacy Act 1993 Wills Case Study Ministry Trustee Duties Zero Hour Contracts Customary Authority Hawkes Bay Trustee Company Limited v Judd Lease Titles Employer Recovery of money Psychological abuse WINZ Break up Income Intellectual Property Wilson v Donnellan Verbal abuse Testamentary capacity Character requirements Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017 Acknowledgment of Debt Will Sale of Goods Elder Law Temper Asset Protection Subsidies Frustration Family Trusts Tamarapa v Byerley Marriage Ship Registration Interpretation Act 1999 Financial services provider (FSP) Domestic violence Mortgage Erceg v Erceg Executors duty Dividing Property Undue influence Family Home Family Resident Visa Rest Home Subsidies Ilott v Mitson 2017 UKSC 17 Indoor Management Rule Divorce Civil union Sharing Partner of resident Splitting Up SMC Companies Act 1993 Maritime Lien Will that do Business Tenant Directors' Duties Separate Property Living standards Gifts Property (Relationships) Act 1976 Maritime Law Principal Auckland Office Employment Fair Trading Act 1986 Ship Constructive trusts Charity begins at home Estate Administration Contract Law Amundson v Raos Re Estate of Campbell Body Corporate Trusts Deceased's wishes Financial products Re Estate of Feron Medical Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003 (CCCFA) Lease Personal Termination Gifting Holiday pay Repayment Partnership based work visa Fair share Vessel Sale and Purchase Violence Loss of income Reckless Trading Immigration New Zealand Vessel survey Commercial Law Lankow v Rose Expression of interest Grey Power Protector Interpretation of documents Charities Legislation update Unfair contract terms Commercial Shareholders' Agreement Unequal Sharing Family Protection Act 1955 Ship's Mortgage Creating Trusts Murrell v Hamilton White v White Trust busting Abuse Property Visa application 50/50 Split Testamentary Promises Albany Office Dismissal Personal Properties and Securities Act 1999 Twelve years Wills Act 2007 Section 15 Division of Functions Tenants Insurance Pattern of offending Due Diligence Interpretation Act 1999 Section 29 Economic disadvantage Financial services Anti-money laundering (AML)