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Paid leave for victims of domestic violence

Paid leave for victims of domestic violence

Under a new bill introduced into Parliament, victims of domestic violence will be entitled to up to 10 days' paid leave. We foresee some issues regarding proof for employers when this bill comes into effect next year.

By Kiren Narayanan - 26 Jul 2018

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Debts owed to you by a family trust - are they protected if you separate?

Debts owed to you by a family trust - are they protected if you separate?

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of Family Trusts per capita in the world. But a lot of these Trusts are not being managed correctly which then impacts on the protection a Trust can provide, particularly in the event of a relationship break down/separation.

By Fiona McGeorge - 12 Jul 2018

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From 1 July we may need further information from our clients

From 1 July we may need further information from our clients

From 1 July this year, we may be required to undertake due diligence in order to comply with our obligations under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act (AML/CFT). The information required (if any) will differ depending on the nature of your work and your type of entity. We will need this information prior to carrying out your instructions.

By Kay Keam - 21 Jun 2018

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Do I have a say in my child's life?

Do I have a say in my child's life?

If you are the father of a child, you may think that you automatically have a say in your child's upbringing (such as schooling, religion, where they live etc) however that may not be the case. Legally you only get a say in your child's life if you are their legal guardian.

By Surendra Bennett - 14 Jun 2018

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Broken promises in deceased estates

Broken promises in deceased estates

In their advancing years, many people come to rely on the support, services and affection of others. Often this support is not from family members. In such instances many people make or imply promises that they will look after the service provider in their will. The promises are more often than not made to secure the benefits supplied, but can be made simply as a reward or 'gesture of gratitude' for the services supplied.

By Andrew Steele - 18 May 2018

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What can you do about nuisance trees?

What can you do about nuisance trees?

The storm in Auckland on 10 April caught many people unaware. Trees caused carnage in many neighbourhoods - cutting power lines, falling on parked cars and destroying homes. In fact, many people are now looking at leafy inner city suburbs with fresh eyes. Could we have been growing our own 'weapons of mass destruction' all these years?

By Geoff Hardy - 9 May 2018

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Silver Splitters: starting again after divorce

Silver Splitters: starting again after divorce

The number of people divorcing aged 50+ is on the increase. These couples are sometimes referred to as 'Silver Splitters'. Life really can begin again at this age, where you meet someone new and settle down once again. Life may be wonderful during the honeymoon period and the thought that another relationship might fail often never enters your mind. Discussions around money and assets can be seen as unromantic and even offensive!

By Surendra Bennett - 5 Apr 2018

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Government's proposed ban on foreign buyers of residential dwellings

Government's proposed ban on foreign buyers of residential dwellings

The government is to introduce a ban on foreign buyers from buying existing dwellings. What could this mean for developers?

By Steven Lee - 14 Dec 2017

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Discretionary beneficiaries have rights too!

Discretionary beneficiaries have rights too!

While the 'parent settlors' of a family trust are alive and have their mental capacity, the issue of monitoring what the trust is doing is not an issue. But once the parents die or lose capacity and the administration of the trust transfers to the 'professional trustees', it often becomes the task of the children to ensure that the trustees act reasonably, competently and are held to account for their decisions. But how?

By Andrew Steele - 8 Sep 2017

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What do you mean I'm not the trustee of mum and dad's trust?

What do you mean I'm not the trustee of mum and dad's trust?

There are several hundred thousand family trusts in New Zealand. These often hold the financial 'nest egg' of aging settlors concerned ultimately to protect their assets during their lifetime and ultimately to benefit their children. While the 'parent settlors' are fit and healthy, the terms of trust usually ensure the trust assets are under their supervision and are often the trustees. The 'independent trustee', where present, is often relegated to a relatively benign role of simply reviewing and approving their co-trustees preferred course of action with regards to investment and distributions. From the settlor's children's perspective that's fine - after all - they often don't understand the distinction between assets that have been transferred into a trust and the parent's personal property.

By Andrew Steele and Timothy Orr - 30 Aug 2017

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