If you have a general question you would like an answer to, please submit it using the form at the foot of this page.
|If my spouse and I separate, do we need so use separate Lawyers?
Yes, you will require your own lawyers. We are happy to help find another lawyer for your spouse if necessary.
Do I need a Family Trust?
There are many advantages of forming a family trust and transferring your major assets out of your personal names and into the trust. We are happy to discuss these with you on a more personal basis, relevant to your own personal circumstances. The law surrounding trusts is ever-evolving. As trusts form a large part of our practice, we are always up to date with developments in this area
|Do I need a Will?
Your Will is one of the most important documents you will sign. Everyone should have a current Will, whether you have few assets or significant assets. It is important that you keep your Will current and review it on a regular basis.
Certain life events may invalidate your Will. Therefore, whenever there is a major change in your personal circumstances (for example, entering a relationship, purchase of a property, birth of a child, ending a relationship etc.), it is important that you update your Will. If you have children, you should use your Will to appoint a testamentary guardian for your children in the event the children were left parentless.
We understand and appreciate that, for a lot of people, making a Will is a topic they would rather avoid thinking about. We have the experience and expertise to assist you with your Will in a timely and empathetic manner.
Enduring Power of Attorney
Do I need an Enduring Power of Attorney?
In terms of forward planning, having effective Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPOA) in place is as important as having a Will. There are two types of EPOA – (i) Property, and (ii) Personal Care and Welfare.
In your EPOA as to Property you may appoint one or more “attorneys” to act on your behalf in relation to your property and finances. Your EPOA may be activated straight away (handy if you are travelling overseas and may require documentation to be signed at home) or may be triggered by an event (for example, if you become mentally incapacitated due to an illness or injury).
In your EPOA as to Personal Care and Welfare, you may appoint one person as your attorney. The EPOA as to Personal Care and Welfare is only activated in the event that you no longer have capacity to make decisions regarding your own personal care and welfare. Your attorney may make these decisions for you, for example decisions regarding medical treatment and hospitalisation.
If you do not have EPOAs in place and you no longer have capacity to make decisions regarding your property or your personal care and welfare, no one else can legally make these decisions for you without a Court Order. As you can imagine, this can be a costly and lengthy process, but one that can all be avoided by ensuring you have valid EPOA
To Court ... or not
Is there an alternative to going to Court?
If you are involved in a dispute that you are unable to resolve yourselves, then an alternative to Court action is Mediation.
Judy is a very experienced and skilled Mediator. She is a member of the Family Specialist Panel of Mediators (New Zealand Law Society).
Mediation is an effective, cost-efficient, less stressful, alternative way of resolving disputes and Judy’s success rate is very high.
How much will this cost me?
For a lot of matters we are able to offer fixed fee quotes – examples include property sales and purchases, preparation of Wills, preparation of Enduring Powers of Attorney, giving Independent Legal Advice on Relationship Property Agreements.
However, for some matters, it is impossible to give a quote, particularly when there is a dispute that needs to be resolved and which may require the assistance of the Court.
However, we generally invoice each month to ensure you are aware of the ongoing costs.