A Will is a legal document that allows you to have your say after you’re gone. Without a Will you lose the power to decide what happens and the law determines how your estate is distributed. People who you may not want to benefit may receive some or all of your assets.
A Will ensures your loved ones are looked after and is a way for you to provide support to your favourite charities with gifts and bequests and pass on any property or heirlooms to your family and friends. You can also make provisions for the care of your pets, record your funeral wishes and appoint legal guardians for your children.
One of the most important aspects of a Will is naming your executor and trustee. This is the person who you trust to apply to the High Court for probate, and to carry out your final wishes including collecting and distributing your assets, paying any debts, and dealing with any disputes.
In legal terms, this is dying intestate. It’s much more complex than simply leaving everything to your next of kin. Without a Will, the law, through the Administration Act 1969 (along with other applicable legislation) decides how your estate is distributed.
If you have children, your spouse or partner will not automatically inherit all your assets. Under Section 77 of the Administration Act 1969, your estate would be divided between multiple entitled parties. This depends on whether you are married, in a relationship, have children, parents or other blood relatives.
Without a Will, people left behind may face lengthy legal delays, significant costs and stress while they wait for the Court to appoint an administrator to distribute your assets. This means that people who you might have excluded can benefit from some or all of your assets.
We recommend working with one of our professionals, who will ensure your Will is written properly and legally covers all your bases. If your requirements are really simple, we have launched an Online Will tool which may suit you better.
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The key benefit of a tailored Will is you benefit from the expertise of our specialists and it is customised precisely to your needs.
Do you wish to make any specific gifts in your Will?
If you have children under the age of 18, who would you like to appoint as their guardian?
Are you about to get married?
Directions regarding the way in which you would like your body laid to rest.
How do you want to allocate the residue of your estate?
Appointing an executor to manage your estate and carry out the distribution of your assets.
There is a lot to consider when writing your Will and it is important to get expert advice for your circumstances. Laws relating to relationship property, family and any promises of gifts can be complex and must be taken into consideration.
Trustees Executors is proud to be New Zealand’s longest serving and most experienced Trustee Company. Our experienced team have been providing personalised service to New Zealanders, to secure their financial future and manage and distribute their wealth since 1881.
Your executor will be responsible for administering your estate and ensuring your instructions are carried out and properly implemented. The administration of an estate places many responsibilities on an executor and it can be complex and time consuming. In most cases a specialist needs to get involved as it requires expertise in law, accounting, investment and taxation. Trustees Executors can act as your executor so you can have the reassurance of knowing that your estate will be handled expertly and professionally in accordance with your wishes.
You should review your Will when your personal circumstances or wishes change such as a change in financial or marital situation, new children or grandchildren.
Anyone over 18 with $15,000 or over (including in KiwiSaver) should have a Will.
If you have simple wishes, it is likely that an Online Will is all you need. However, if you are not sure, contact us and one of our estate planning specialists can advise you whether a tailored Will would be better suited to your needs.