Latest Articles

Below are a collection of articles from our team to keep you informed.

Articles in Category: Latest Articles

Do Your Homework Before Signing Your Residential Building Contract

on Wednesday, 12 July 2017. Posted in Latest Articles

For a lot of New Zealanders the family home is the family’s single most valuable asset, so when building new, the building contract is likely to be the biggest contract they will enter in their lives. Despite this, many choose to sign their building contract without having it reviewed by a lawyer, and surprisingly in some cases, without reading it fully themselves.

Sometimes this will not cause any problems. The build will be completed and the money paid to the satisfaction of both parties. However, more often than not, issues will arise as to what each party believed they had agreed to under the contract. Further to that, building contracts are largely weighted in favour of the builder despite them being labelled as “standard” building contracts. Such building contracts commonly include details that would surprise most home owners.

Below is a brief summary of the four main areas where we see the most complications arise.

Read more here.

FIRST HOME BUYER? HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT KIWISAVER

on Monday, 29 August 2016. Posted in Latest Articles

After three years of contributing to KiwiSaver, you may be able to withdraw part of your savings to purchase your first home.

You may also be eligible for a government grant of up to $5,000 to assist with the purchase of an existing home, or $10,000 to assist in the construction of a new one (Home-Start Grant).

In certain circumstances, this scheme is open to those who have already owned a home.

A strict procedure needs to be followed in order to be able to access these funds, so we recommend talking with your lawyer, at the outset of the process.

ENDURING POWERS OF ATTORNEY – A BRIEF RUNDOWN

on Monday, 16 February 2015. Posted in Latest Articles

A power of attorney is a written authorisation for  someone to manage your affairs on your behalf. The person you authorise is called an “attorney”.

Traditional powers of attorney have been around a long time, but are subject to some important limitations. First, there is a longstanding rule that if you lose mental capacity the power of attorney is automatically revoked. Secondly, the power of the attorney only extends to dealing with your property (and not personal matters such as your health). 

An Enduring Power of Attorney (or “EPA”) is a special form of power of attorney that the New Zealand government has instituted to address these limitations. Because of this, EPAs have become one of the cornerstones of putting your legal affairs in order.

Running a Trust

on Tuesday, 17 September 2013. Posted in Latest Articles, Trusts

Once your trust has been established it is very important that it is administered properly. Your trust achieves its objectives by separating ownership of your family’s assets from you personally. If the trust is not administered properly to make this separation of ownership clear then the trust could be challenged as a sham. Such a challenge could be made by a business creditor, relationship partner, the IRD or Work and Income New Zealand. If such a challenge is successful then the trust assets could be treated as your own personal assets and the benefits available through the trust structure will be lost.

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