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Things to consider when making a Will

Executor/Trustee

The Executor/Trustee is the person (or persons) responsible for ensuring that the terms of your Will are adhered to – i.e. that your wishes are carried out. In the first instance – unless there is good reason to do otherwise – your spouse or partner is probably the obvious option. However, your spouse/partner may predecease you. So, your Will needs to state who your Executor/Trustee is to be in those circumstances. A family member or close friend will often be best. Whoever they are, they need to be competent, honest and preferably located in New Zealand.


Restricted Items

If you own firearms or other items that require a licence or permit or some sort, you should address this in your Will. Otherwise, the Police will probably end up with them.


Gifts

Gifts can take a variety of forms: cash, chattels of financial value, chattels of sentimental value, shares, vehicles, real estate or pets. Since most of us have a lot of ‘stuff’, it is best to only address gifts of significant financial or sentimental value in your Will – everything else can be dealt with via a Memorandum of Wishes.


Residual Beneficiaries

The Residue is what’s left over after all of the estate bills have been paid and the gifts given. In a typical ‘Ma and Pa’ scenario, the residue will usually be distributed to the survivor or (if both Ma and Pa are now deceased) the deceased’s children.


If one or more of the deceased’s children are already dead, the usual procedure is to distribute the deceased child’s share between that child’s own children – i.e. the grandchildren.


Alternatively, the Will may state that the deceased child’s share is to be divided amongst the surviving children – i.e. their siblings.


Ultimately, it’s your assets and belongings and your Will – so it’s up to you.

If you need advice, give us a call 03 477 8080.



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