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

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 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

Auckland's Unitary Plan - In a Nutshell

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

You may have heard the term 'Auckland Unitary Plan' bantered about - if you live in Auckland or plan to, this document will have an impact on your life; whether it be job creation and development, how affordable your home is, and even who your neighbours may be, take a few moments and familiarise yourself with it (access here: Auckland Unitary Plan) or, given it is 7,000 pages, read on for a brief overview... Read more

To Gift or Not to Gift?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Gift duty was abolished from 1 October 2011 and while the legislative change itself is simple, it has surprisingly complex consequences. The abolition of gift duty has made it possible for individuals to gift assets directly to a trust and it is likely this practice will supplant the former method of selling property to a trust with a gift back. Read more

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