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By Helen

I'm a Registered Legal Executive at CS Law

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General Estate Information

Some general information from our Estates Team

Did you know . . .  

  •  An Enduring Power of Attorney ceases/is revoked on the death of the Donor.
  • If you die without leaving a Will, it can be a very costly process to administer your Estate. It is important that you have a current Will.
  • If you own assets over $15,000.00 (eg. house, bank account, term deposit, life policy, kiwisaver) it is necessary to obtain a Grant of Probate from the High Court in order to administer the asset/s.
  • Probate when filed in the High Court generally takes 3 or 4 weeks to be granted. Once sealed by the High Court this becomes the authority for the executor/s of the Estate to deal with the assets of the Estate.
  • If you own a property or a bank account jointly with, for example, your spouse or partner, it will automatically pass to them as survivor in your passing.
  • If you have your funds in a Bank account with another person (eg. son, daughter, sister, brother) and on your death you intended that these funds be shared between all your children, under current law the bank account will pass automatically to the other person and not form part of your Estate. Holding your funds this way is sometimes suggested by Banks so as to make it easier for the other person to have access to the funds on your behalf to pay your bills if you are unable to do so.  It can however causes problems following your death as the other person is entitled to retain the funds as their own and not use for estate expenses.
  • If an Estate owns a property it is a requirement to obtain an IRD number for the Estate and further, if an Estate earns over $200.00 of income in any one tax year it is necessary to file an Estate tax return. Often it is also beneficial to the Estate to file a final lifetime tax return for the deceased.
  • Decisions of executors must be unanimous. If executors cannot agree they would need to take independent legal advice.
  • On advising the deceased’s Bank of their passing, the Bank automatically cancel all direct debits and automatic payments loaded against the bank account. Other arrangements would need to be made for payment of rates and insurance premiums