Trusts / Asset Planning

Separation - When a Relationship Ends

Created: Tuesday, 27 October 2020 12:16

The end of a relationship is acknowledged by many as being one of life’s major stresses. Whether it comes as an unexpected shock, or is a planned or agreed outcome, a separation marks a change in circumstances, often involving personal upheaval.  In many cases, uncertainty around arrangements for housing, children and finances only complicates an already challenging time.

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Guardianship of Children – What Does it Mean?

Created: Thursday, 15 October 2020 11:34

The idea of guardianship, or being a guardian, is often misunderstood. A guardian of a child is someone to whom the right to make decisions about important matters affecting that child has been given under the Care of Children Act 2004 (the Act). A guardian contributes to a child’s intellectual, emotional, physical, social, cultural and other personal development.

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Why Have a Will

Created: Monday, 05 October 2020 08:56

Your will is one of the most important documents you will sign in your life. It has a profound effect on the legacy you will leave your loved ones.

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Residential Care Subsidy - Working it Out

Created: Tuesday, 08 September 2020 16:12

The underlying purpose of the Social Securities Act 1964 is to ensure that financial support is available to people who require it.  The availability of this support is subject to means testing, and the Act requires that "where appropriate they should use resources available to them before seeking financial support under this Act".  These resources may include assets held in trust.

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Residential Care Subsidy - A Trust May Affect Eligibility

Created: Tuesday, 08 September 2020 15:50

If you need long term care in a rest home or hospital, you may be eligible to apply for a residential care subsidy.

Eligibility for a residential care subsidy is assessed by the Ministry of Social Development (“MSD”). About 15 years ago MSD changed the asset levels for eligibility for the residential care subsidy. These changes markedly increased the value of assets that an applicant could retain and still be eligible for the subsidy. However, MSD then became more vigilant to ensure that when an applicant had resources available to them, those resources are used before seeking financial support from the state.

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Making a will – Estate considerations when you’ve already helped your children financially

Created: Friday, 07 August 2020 12:19

That parents provide for their children is inherent in the parent-child relationship, and sometimes continues even as children reach adulthood. Parents with more than one adult child must often assess the merits of helping children at different times and in different ways, with outcomes that cannot be readily equalised or compared. These considerations may be at the forefront of your mind when making a will. In the High Court case of Ware v Reid & Ors [2019] NZHC 506 Dunningham J addressed this issue where the four adult children of a farming couple had each been helped into farm ownership during their parents’ lifetimes. The parents then sought to equalise this financial assistance as between their children in their respective wills.

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