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Legal Articles

 

Whose Kids Are They?

 

Goodbye custody, farewell access - hello parenting orders. On the first of July 2005 the new Care of Children Act 2004 came into force.  Read more...

 

The Survivor's Choice

 

Almost everyone is aware that in 2001 the law changed to give statutory property rights to de facto partners.  The knowledge that property is generally shared equally after a couple has lived together for three years has been ground into our collective consciousness.  However, very little publicity has been given to the significant changes the amendments to the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 makes to the administration of deceased estates. Read more...

 

The Power That Endures


Powers of attorney have been around in our English based legal system for hundreds of years.  Knights setting off to the Crusades in the twelfth century appointed trusted friends or relatives to look after the castle and estate during their lengthy absence. This traditional power of attorney is still widely used today mainly for business purposes.  Read more...

 

The Final Appointment


“If you’ve ever wondered how to get back at someone who’s made your life a pure hell, you might consider making him or her the executor of your will.”  This tongue-in -cheek remark by American business writer Pat Cash is a reminder that being an executor is not all beer and skittles although, so far, executors in New Zealand are not sued as regularly as those in the highly litigious United States of America. Read more...

 

The Cash In Your House


Many of us spend most of our lives paying off a house mortgage to provide the security of freehold accommodation in our old age.  We can then find we are asset rich but cash poor.  The realisation that the equity in our homes is not much use to us, unless we can access it, has led to the growth of the home equity release mortgage market. Read more...

 

Over The Fence


Neighbours!  Often modern life is so busy you hardly ever see them.  Occasionally they become good friends.  Sometimes they turn out to be monsters that can ruin your enjoyment of life and plunge you in to your own suburban soap opera of arguments and recriminations. Read more...

 

Ask The Ombudsman


In 1962 we Kiwis all learnt a Swedish word.  The word was “ombudsman” which translates into English as grievance person.  New Zealand was the first country outside of Scandinavia to formally appoint an independent person to investigate grievances that individuals had against government departments. Read more...

 

Life, Death & Donation


One of the hardest decisions any family faces is being asked to authorise turning off the life support apparatus for a loved one who is in hospital.  At this difficult time, the question of permitting organ donation from the relative’s body may also be raised.  In this article we look at some of the legal issues involved. Read more...

 

Is Your Will Watertight?


Twenty years ago you had an argument with teenage daughter Mary and she left home to join a motorcycle gang.  The two of you have never spoken since. Son John, the apple of your eye, married the nice girl he met at university but she has turned out to be the daughter-in-law from hell and will not let you see the grandchildren.  John has stopped visiting you to “keep the peace”.  Read more...

 

Family Shared Property Ownership


It has become increasingly common for different generations of a family to have a financial stake in the same property.  Whatever the nature of any particular arrangement may be they all have one thing in common. They need to be carefully thought through and properly recorded before any money is committed. Read more...

 

Let The Buyer Beware


If conventional wisdom is to be believed, we are all supposed to indulge in a frenzy of shopping before we retire.  As we embark upon a new and more relaxed lifestyle we should have a new car and be surrounded with shiny new household appliances and toys that might just “see us out”, or at the very least, reduce our future household repair bills. Read more...

 

A Home In the Village?


You have just spent the weekend whipping the garden into shape and your back is protesting.  The home is starting to look shabby and you cannot defer maintenance much longer.  Suddenly that retirement village down the road with the brand-new modern apartments, the landscaped gardens and a bowling green seems appealing. Read more...

 

 

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