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1304 posts

Uber Geek


  #1497743 23-Feb-2016 12:07
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sxz:

 

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

 

 

Not reliable either. My late husband and I used the Public Trust. I would NEVER recommend them to anyone. My husband was killed in a car crash and, in theory, the Public Trust was supposed to execute his will. They did nothing apart from send me a nice condolences card. Wrapping up his estate took time due to the need for an inquest. I was dealing with enough stuff through this time, including being broke due to jointly-held bank accounts and assets being frozen until after the coroner's findings. I didn't chase things. Eventually, the PT office made an appointment to "finalise" the estate. Nothing had been done. Not a thing. No advertising for creditors, no contacting beneficiaries, no claiming insurances, nada. No probate either. They made such a mess that they decided to hand me a copy of the will and tell me there was no charge. 

 

Whatever you do, use someone you can trust. Or someone your heirs can successfully sue. 


2208 posts

Uber Geek


  #1497776 23-Feb-2016 12:33
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There are a couple of threads here that are semi relevant.

http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=48&topicid=154904
Http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=48&topicid=138029


In particular, Elpie has some terrible experience she's shared. It's well worth reading what she's written.




Location: Dunedin

 


 
 
 
 


809 posts

Ultimate Geek
Inactive user


  #1497882 23-Feb-2016 14:59
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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). ?

 

 You're wrong.

 

50 % goes to spouse, the rest to kids.

 

 

 

It's easy anyway, you write out your will, dated, signed all that.

 

You have 2 people who don't benefit from the will also sign it, dated, details etc.

 

 

 

Then make copies and give to spouse, executor, whoever.

 

 

 

The end.

 

 


Jax

89 posts

Master Geek


  #1497886 23-Feb-2016 15:07
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I believe if it is simple you can write yourself and get it signed/dated etc?

 

It is worthwhile including provision for access to all your digital assets somehow: banking, IRD, shares, social media, email etc etc

 

Lastpass and 1Password? have provision for emergency access:

 

https://blog.lastpass.com/2016/01/introducing-lastpass-4-0.html/

 

 


3747 posts

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  #1497943 23-Feb-2016 16:35
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Jax:

 

I believe if it is simple you can write yourself and get it signed/dated etc?

 

It is worthwhile including provision for access to all your digital assets somehow: banking, IRD, shares, social media, email etc etc

 

Lastpass and 1Password? have provision for emergency access:

 

https://blog.lastpass.com/2016/01/introducing-lastpass-4-0.html/

 

 

 

There are some fish-hooks in writing it yourself. For example, if you write "I leave all my money to X", then anyone else could make a claim to your other assets (car, house, etc). IIRC, signing of your will must be witnessed by a non-beneficiary.

 

We bought a "NZ Will Kit" and used that.

 

Frank

 

 


1241 posts

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  #1497972 23-Feb-2016 17:23
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Elpie:

sxz:


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



Not reliable either. My late husband and I used the Public Trust. I would NEVER recommend them to anyone. My husband was killed in a car crash and, in theory, the Public Trust was supposed to execute his will. They did nothing apart from send me a nice condolences card. Wrapping up his estate took time due to the need for an inquest. I was dealing with enough stuff through this time, including being broke due to jointly-held bank accounts and assets being frozen until after the coroner's findings. I didn't chase things. Eventually, the PT office made an appointment to "finalise" the estate. Nothing had been done. Not a thing. No advertising for creditors, no contacting beneficiaries, no claiming insurances, nada. No probate either. They made such a mess that they decided to hand me a copy of the will and tell me there was no charge. 


Whatever you do, use someone you can trust. Or someone your heirs can successfully sue. 



Sounds like what happened when my Dad died (car crash too) when we were kids in the late 80s.

1905 posts

Uber Geek


  #1497974 23-Feb-2016 17:24
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I don't have a will (yet!) and one thing that I always wondered about was who holds the will?

 

If a lawyer creates a will for you, do they hold it (and, I would assume, charge you for that privilage)? Or is it enough for you to just put your will in a draw somewhere?

 

In either case, I assume that it's important that you make sure that your spouse (and possibly others, in case you and your spouse die together in an accident) knows where your will is so they can find it when the time comes?


 
 
 
 


322 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  #1497995 23-Feb-2016 18:08
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SWIM defined some financial bequests in their will as %'s of the cash estate rather than fixed $. So self-adjusting for inflation & changed fortunes.


sxz

691 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #1497996 23-Feb-2016 18:11
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pctek:

 

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). ?

 

 You're wrong.

 

50 % goes to spouse, the rest to kids.

 

 

 

It's easy anyway, you write out your will, dated, signed all that.

 

You have 2 people who don't benefit from the will also sign it, dated, details etc.

 

 

 

Then make copies and give to spouse, executor, whoever.

 

 

 

The end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Actually, you're wrong sorry! :)

 

It's a different scenario for someone who is (a) married/de facto, no kids, no parents; (b) married / de facto, with kids; (c) married / defacto, no kids but WITH parent(s); (d) kids, but no partner; (e) no partner, no kids, but parent(s); etc. etc.  From then, it goes to brothers and sisters (if any), failing that, to Grandparents or aunts and uncles.

 

See s77 Administration act here which sets out the tables of where your stuff goes when you die without a will:

 

http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1969/0052/latest/DLM393303.html

 

 

 

 


9716 posts

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  #1498014 23-Feb-2016 18:56
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MurrayM:

 

I don't have a will (yet!) and one thing that I always wondered about was who holds the will?

 

If a lawyer creates a will for you, do they hold it (and, I would assume, charge you for that privilage)? Or is it enough for you to just put your will in a draw somewhere?

 

 

lawyer created ours, we have a copy they have a copy, no charge to hold it (its probably built into the initial fee)


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  #1498024 23-Feb-2016 19:04
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robjg63:

 

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

 

 

 

 

I have NEVER NEVER NEVER heard of anyone having a good experience with Public Trust after the mortal coil has been shed. It may be free and easy to set up, but once you are done and dusted, you won't be around to see the hassle your beneficiaries have dealing with Public Trust.


1905 posts

Uber Geek


  #1498034 23-Feb-2016 19:36
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Jase2985:

 

MurrayM:

 

I don't have a will (yet!) and one thing that I always wondered about was who holds the will?

 

If a lawyer creates a will for you, do they hold it (and, I would assume, charge you for that privilage)? Or is it enough for you to just put your will in a draw somewhere?

 

 

lawyer created ours, we have a copy they have a copy, no charge to hold it (its probably built into the initial fee)

 

 

So what happens if both you and your partner both die at the same time? Do you just trust that someone will search your house to find the copy of the will you hold, and from that be lead to your lawyer to get the original? Or does your lawyer check the death notices every day to pick up on people that they hold a will for and then try to contact the executor to tell them that they've got your will?


sxz

691 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #1498103 23-Feb-2016 20:54
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MurrayM:

 

Jase2985:

 

MurrayM:

 

I don't have a will (yet!) and one thing that I always wondered about was who holds the will?

 

If a lawyer creates a will for you, do they hold it (and, I would assume, charge you for that privilage)? Or is it enough for you to just put your will in a draw somewhere?

 

 

lawyer created ours, we have a copy they have a copy, no charge to hold it (its probably built into the initial fee)

 

 

So what happens if both you and your partner both die at the same time? Do you just trust that someone will search your house to find the copy of the will you hold, and from that be lead to your lawyer to get the original? Or does your lawyer check the death notices every day to pick up on people that they hold a will for and then try to contact the executor to tell them that they've got your will?

 

 

 

 

Both.  Exactly right. 

 

 

 

Lawyers check death notices, and lawyers have a magazine (lawtalk) where other lawyers can put notices in it looking for wills.  We check that too.  Copies of wills and other important documents should always be kept in sensible places so they can be found by family when needed.  At the very least, family should be aware of who your lawyers are.  Also, if you have the same lawyer for many years, we can always look through land records to see which lawyer last registered the a property transfer for the dead person - then contact them to see if they hold a will.


739 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  #1498308 24-Feb-2016 09:14
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Your executor should have a copy, so they will have some idea what you want beforehand - you will of course have discussed it with them, also they will have the contact details of the lawyers on the document.

 

If your will has no nasty surprises in it ("To my dear eldest son Ethelred, I leave the sum of one dollar New Zealand currency, on the basis that the miserable wastrel has already drunk all the rest of his share"* wink), then the principal beneficiaries could have copies too (photocopies are cheap today).

 

These precautions should ensure that when you die, even if it's at the same time as your partner / spouse / significant other, someone will know where the original will is and who to contact to get the process started.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* For the avoidance of doubt: No, I don't have a son called Ethelred, and both my sons are models of good and responsible citizenship.
                   smile


4657 posts

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  #1498329 24-Feb-2016 09:41
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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.

 

I have no close family and want my assets left to a couple of nominated charities if I die. In my situation I'm guessing a lawyer has to be the executor? To be honest I've been putting it off because I don't know how to tackle this question.


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