BECKER & CO can provide thorough, quality advice on all aspects of Trusts, Wills and Estate Planning.
We have acted for many individuals, sole traders and company directors in estate planning, asset protection, trusts, Wills and powers of attorney. As a Foundation and Senior Member of the New Zealand Trustee Association, David can advise you on all aspects of trust creation, transfer of assets, forgiveness of debt, resettlement/ variation/ challenges to Trusts and Trustees.
Trust law is an ever-changing area. Recent case law has made it easier for spouses or partners to get access to trust property in a relationship break up. If you currently have a trust, we can help you to review the trust documents.
Despite the recent challenges, trusts remain a popular asset protection tool. We can talk you through the implications of putting your property into a trust and discuss if creation of a trust is right for you.
It's important to make sure you have a Will. If not, your estate will be divided in accordance with the Administration Act. This is expensive, as your family will have to apply for Letters of Administration, and may lead to a distribution of your assets in a manner you did not anticipate or intend. If you have a Will, it is important to regularly update it, to ensure that it reflects your current situation. Changes in relationship circumstances may also change the effect of your Will
Enduring Powers of Attorney
There are two types of Enduring Powers of Attorney: Property and Personal Care and Welfare.
These documents authorise someone (or multiple people) to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapable of doing so. Enduring Powers of Attorney are often prepared alongside wills.
Our expert team can explain the implications of Enduring Powers of Attorney and discuss your options with you.
If you are entering a new relationship, already in one, or are separating, there will be implications for your estate or trust.
Recent changes in trust case law have made it easier for a partner to challenge their spouses trust. These changes have made it increasingly important that your trust documents are carefully prepared and reviewed. Our team is fully up to date with trust law developments.
Litigation & Disputes
There are multiple ways a Will may be challenged. For example, under the Family Protection Act, a Will can be challenged by a close family member who was not provided for in the Will if there was a 'moral duty' to provide for their support and maintenance. A person can also challenge a Will under the Law Reform (Testamentary Promises) Act, if they were promised something which they did not receive. If a testator lacked capacity, the executor may be required to apply to the court in solemn form.
Contact us to discuss how a challenge may be taken.