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  • Jonelle Williams

Updating your will – Your executor

Who will be your executor?

When choosing executors and trustees for your will, we encourage our clients to take time to think who will be best suited for the role and also who would be good substitute executors and trustees should your first choice have predeceased you, or be living at the time of your death but are unwilling or unable to act.

Why is it important to consider where your executor and trustee lives?

It is increasingly common to have family members living permanently overseas, returning only occasional to see family. We encourage our will-makers to consider where your executor lives. If possible, we recommend that you consider choosing executors who live in New Zealand. However, we know that most parents usually like to treat all their children equally and often wish for all of their children to be appointed as executors and trustees in their will, so they are all the decision-makers.

We do encourage will-makers to think how best to ensure their wishes in their will are carried out. The responsibility of dealing with different financial institutions is increasingly onerous, because of the increased compliance required by banks etc. Whilst we are skilled at assisting executors and trustees carry out their role, cutting through the red-tape, often our New Zealand based executors are able to navigate the processes more quickly whilst still keeping all the family informed throughout.

Careful thought should be given when choosing executors and trustees who live overseas, especially if there will be a testamentary trust in the will, for example a share held for a child to the age of 25 years. This is because there will be a trust for the longer term and this potentially may have some tax implications if 25% or more of the trustees live overseas.

Is it time for a review?

We also encourage all our clients to regularly review their will, especially at different life stages. Importantly, when you get married then your pre-marriage will becomes void (unless made in contemplation of marriage) and you should have a new will. Also, if you separate or divorce you should review your will as soon as possible.

If you need advice, and would like to review your will please give us a call 03 477 8080.

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