Articles about NZ law

Family Trusts: Memorandum of Wishes - how binding are they?

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The growth in the number of discretionary family trusts currently being set up by families has made it more important for the trustees of those trusts to have some directions as to the settlors’ intentions regarding the distribution of trust assets. 

How new Anti Money Laundering (AML) legislation affects our clients

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New  Zealand has passed a law called the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (“the AML/CFT law” for short). The purpose of the law reflects New Zealand’s commitment to the international initiative to counter the impact that criminal activity has on people and economies within the global community.

What is a family trust and do you need one?

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When you buy a house or start a family, you may start thinking about setting up a family trust. Family trusts are arguably a New Zealand social institution, but is a family trust right for your situation?

How safe is my Trust?

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Many Trusts are set up to protect family assets including homes farms and investments, but are drafted so that a degree of control is retained for the person who set up the Trust. 

Do I need to make a Will?

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A person who dies without a Will has their estate distributed to their successors under the provisions of the Wills Act 2007. This produces some surprising results, and in particular, divides the estate between the surviving spouse and the children of the relationship. An out of date Will can similarly produce unsatisfactory results, where the property included in the Will has already been disposed of or persons in an earlier relationship are included in a Will when that relationship has long since ended, or children have been born since making the Will.

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