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621 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 191979 23-Feb-2016 09:40
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I'm at the age where you have to start thinking about mature stuff, like writing a will.

 

There would be nothing complicated included in the Will, stuff goes to my wife and kids.

 

Has anyone recently written a will and can give me some pointers as to how they did it?

 

How did you ensure its all legal binding? Did you use a will writing service? If so, which one.

 

 

 

cheers for reading 





The little things make the biggest difference.

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7685 posts

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  Reply # 1497574 23-Feb-2016 09:42
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We had a lawyer do ours when we were settling our house purchase

 

we need to update it though when our second child is born


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  Reply # 1497577 23-Feb-2016 09:45
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The Public Trust Office will prepare a will at no charge BUT ...
... they charge substantial fees to the estate when you die.

 

Any lawyer can help you with a plain-English will for a modest fee.





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  Reply # 1497590 23-Feb-2016 09:49
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you don't have a will, the law assumes that everything goes to your wife anyway (being your next of kin). If she's already dead, then It goes to your kids.

So, in your case, does writing a will offer any benefits over just what the law presumes?

If you trust your wife and have some special request (e.g. "Please donate my ps4 and all games to starship hospital" or something)
then why not just write down a list of your wishes to be opened in the event of your death. It won't be legally binding of course, but unless you think your wife might want to go against your wishes then does it really matter?

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1497591 23-Feb-2016 09:49
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Our lawyer charged about $150 for both my wife's and my will. Pretty reasonable so there aren't any problems when you bow out (not that you'll be around to worry!).


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  Reply # 1497607 23-Feb-2016 10:05
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NonprayingMantis: Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you don't have a will, the law assumes that everything goes to your wife anyway (being your next of kin). If she's already dead, then It goes to your kids.

So, in your case, does writing a will offer any benefits over just what the law presumes? <snip>

 

DO NOT DIE INTESTATE.

 

It's a disaster for your family, and creates a lot of paperwork and delay.

 

Even with the simplest, uncontested family situation, it can take years - or even decades - for the legal wheels to turn.

 

Do the paperwork BEFORE you die.

 

 

 

EDIT  One distant member of our family waited for more than 20 years for a small share of a (disputed) inheritance.





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  Reply # 1497633 23-Feb-2016 10:30
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Yeah, it's well worth having something in writing. Not having a will is a real pain in the a$$ for everyone as the lawyers will get involved regardless. At least if something is on paper there are no disputes.

 

There is a little more to it than 'everything goes to my wife' as you might find you actually want your pokemon card collection, and replica light sabers (for example) to go to your child. Then, there's the case of, what happens if both you and your wife die, who will be given control of the estate, not to mention the ability to dictate your child's future. 

 

 


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  Reply # 1497639 23-Feb-2016 10:36
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Here's one source of information on making wills, including some of the cheaper options: http://www.kiwifamilies.co.nz/articles/making-a-will/

 

I totally agree about it not being desirable to die intestate, having seen first-hand the additional frustrations and delays this causes. That said, I'm nearly 40 and my oldest kid is nearly 9, and we're yet to get a will done - so you're not the only one in this situation! What's put us off getting it done is being unsure about what should happen to our kids (ie, who should care for them).

 

Kiwibank business customers get a free will service - see https://www.kiwibank.co.nz/business-banking/help-advice/free-online-will/ - may give that one a go once we set up my wife's business accounts with them in a few months (provided we've got the kids' care sorted!).

 

Some people use the Public Trust, but I'm aware they used to make up for the low (non-existent?) upfront charges with a pretty hefty cut upon executing the will, so not a particularly cost-effective option in the long-term - not sure if that's still case now?


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  Reply # 1497640 23-Feb-2016 10:37
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Find a family lawyer, ask how much to prepare one - get it done.

 

While it is possible to do it yourself - why not get it done by a professional who knows the pitfalls/things to do?


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  Reply # 1497643 23-Feb-2016 10:48
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Whatever you do, do NOT have a lawyer (or Public Trust Office) as the executor of the will. They will charge an arm and a leg to do the simplest of things, and create complexities so that there is always something to be done, until the money is all gone.

 

Same applies to having a lawyer as a trustee.

 

 


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  Reply # 1497647 23-Feb-2016 10:52
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Sideface:

 

NonprayingMantis: Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you don't have a will, the law assumes that everything goes to your wife anyway (being your next of kin). If she's already dead, then It goes to your kids.

So, in your case, does writing a will offer any benefits over just what the law presumes? <snip>

 

DO NOT DIE INTESTATE.

 

It's a disaster for your family, and creates a lot of paperwork and delay.

 

Even with the simplest, uncontested family situation, it can take years - or even decades - for the legal wheels to turn.

 

Do the paperwork BEFORE you die.

 

 

I wholeheartedly agree

 

my wifes mother died with out a will and the rigmoral to do simple things like close a bank account or phone account, sucks.

 

other things like what the estate owns needs to be advertised in the paper to see if its going to be contested by anyone (ex partner or something like that). this takes a minimum of 6 weeks to complete so things like life insurance policy's etc may not be paid out till that is all finished.

 

 


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  Reply # 1497648 23-Feb-2016 10:54
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My wife is a family lawyer :)

 

Find your local one (or ask a friend who did theirs), pay the money and do it properly. It's easy to do, doesn't cost the earth and make sure it's kept up to date.

 

 




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1497669 23-Feb-2016 11:01
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martyyn:

 

My wife is a family lawyer :)

 

Find your local one (or ask a friend who did theirs), pay the money and do it properly. It's easy to do, doesn't cost the earth and make sure it's kept up to date.

 

 

 

 

 

 

does she , or would she assist with writing a will??

 

 

 

PM??





The little things make the biggest difference.

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  Reply # 1497688 23-Feb-2016 11:08
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frankv:

 

Whatever you do, do NOT have a lawyer (or Public Trust Office) as the executor of the will. They will charge an arm and a leg to do the simplest of things, and create complexities so that there is always something to be done, until the money is all gone.

 

Same applies to having a lawyer as a trustee.

 

 

 

 

Depends on whether someone wants to be the executor or if you trust them.

 

The Public Trust had a bad rep for fees, but they changed the structure some time back. They are not based on the value of your estate.

 

And I guess they are lawyers - so if you get them to be executors you will be paying typical lawyers fees.

 

For the record http://www.publictrust.co.nz/estate-administration/what-does-it-cost

 

 

 

 





Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler

sxz

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1497711 23-Feb-2016 11:44
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Sideface:

 

The Public Trust Office will prepare a will at no charge BUT ...
... they charge substantial fees to the estate when you die.

 

Any lawyer can help you with a plain-English will for a modest fee.

 

 

 

 

Not free anymore I'm afraid


sxz

634 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1497736 23-Feb-2016 11:53
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Sideface:

 

NonprayingMantis: Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you don't have a will, the law assumes that everything goes to your wife anyway (being your next of kin). If she's already dead, then It goes to your kids.

So, in your case, does writing a will offer any benefits over just what the law presumes? <snip>

 

DO NOT DIE INTESTATE.

 

It's a disaster for your family, and creates a lot of paperwork and delay.

 

Even with the simplest, uncontested family situation, it can take years - or even decades - for the legal wheels to turn.

 

Do the paperwork BEFORE you die.

 

 

 

EDIT  One distant member of our family waited for more than 20 years for a small share of a (disputed) inheritance.

 

 

 

 

Dying without a Will isn't the end of the world, so long as you are happy with the provisions of the administration act to kick in.  You can see which category you fit in and what will happen to your stuff here: (section 77: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1969/0052/latest/DLM393303.html).  Someone will still need to apply to court for authority to be the estate administrator to ensure that list is followed.  It can be more expensive than getting Probate for a Will if there are several people who could fit the role of administrator, but once obtained, the formulas are clear and shouldn't take years for legal wheels to turn unless there is a dispute or contest, and that could delay things even if you had a Will.   

 

 

 

Oh, and + 1 for go see a lawyer :).

 

 


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