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Testamentary Promises

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 LAW REFORM (TESTAMENTARY PROMISES) ACT 1949

This is an Act which allows some legal relief by way of damages to any person who has carried out work for the testator in reliance on a promise by that testator to provide in the will where that promise has not been honoured in the will. 

You should visit our topic entitled  Wills - Challenging a Will  and we will give you a full overview of the law and the procedure as well as a number of draft Court documents so that you can assess the strength of your own case and save hundreds,  if not thousands,  of dollars in preliminary legal fees.

BROKEN PROMISES BY THE DECEASED.

The fifth way of challenging a Will relates to the Law Reform (Testamentary Promises) Act 1949.

We also provide you with a direct link to the Government legislation site where you can look up ALL Acts of Parliament and Regulations and Rules. An Act is also known as a Statute. A Regulation is also sometimes known as a Rule. This Government legislation site is still going through some teething problems. But you will be able to access all legislation and find specific Acts and Rules and individual sections.

Statutes
Statutory Regulations
Local & Private Acts

This Act allows you to apply to the Family Court for an Order that the Testator made a promise, either by clear implication or by express words,  that you would be left something in the Will.

Anyone can bring such a claim.&nb

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"Great. See the other topics on Statement of Claim -Some Examples - Graeme - Tauranga"
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"Dear Net Law,
I am perplexed on a matter concerning challenging a will. My father is a very elderly man living in New Zealand, my mother passed away some 35 years ago; I have 6 siblings – 5 males - 1 female all well over the age of 18 years. My father has verbally informed me I shall not be a beneficiary, and/or at best in a minor way. I am not an executor of my fathers will nor have I have seen its contents. My father’s verbal communication has various versions dependent upon his mood. As I understand the situation from your website I can get a copy of my fathers will once probate has been granted and the will is in the public domain, hence one can then get a full understanding of the contents of the will. However how does one challenge a will once probate has been granted?

Netlaw advises: You must advise the executor of the will within 6 months that you intend making a claim and you have 12 months from probate being granted to lodge the claim. But do so as soon as you can.

Netlaw
"

"Dear Netlaw,
I have just found out that i have been left out of my grandparents will. I am 1 of 4 grandchildren and the others are named in the will. How successful might i be in contesting and what is the first step in this process - i am not sure at this point wether it is financially viable to contest as i may end up spending more money contesting through lawyers - your thoughts?
Thanks.

Netlaw replies: You are able to contest a will of a grandparent. Equal sharing is NOT one of the legal principles but the Family Court would want to know why you were left out. We have all the law and procedure on Netlaw but try a good look at the New Zealand Family Court website and look for headings under the Family Protection Act 1955 or "Contesting a Will". There is some good stuff on that website. You could do it yourself if you are prepared to spend a bit of time. There is a section on the Family Court website on representing yourself.

Hope this helps . . . Richard at Netlaw"

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"Very helpful . . . McBreen"
"Now that I understand the principles it has made it easier for me to prepare and make final decisions. thank you. Kirsten."
"Great coverage to have it all laid out. Could you try and give us some uncomplicated documents. yours are useful but are there any simpler docs? Keep up the good work. A really helpful website. Graeme H. Wellington - May 2007"
"I have made good use of this topic and the other topics on Wills. Well done. Jim H (retired) - Devonport - May 2007"
"Bloody Hell! You provide us with the documentation as well! This is great stuff. I will still use a lawyer but I now have enough information to make some informed decisions myself.
Kevin M - Hamilton"

"Hi Netlaw...i have found your site very helpful to me in applying for a parent order. Anexcellent site with the right information, easy to use steps.

Thanks so much :)))"

"HI, posted yesterday trying to find application boilerplate for challenging will due to unsound mind (with medical evidence). Thanks"
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"My husband and I liked all this information. Keep it up please! Well worth the $45. We have spent so much on lawyers, blast them. I suppose they are necessary but when we see these concepts set out simply by you in Netlaw we wonder what all the secrecy and fuss was about in other matters. "
"I have heard that through the Will I am able to gift up to $27 500.00 of my property per year to some one that I want to inherit without paying gifting fees where do I find a template for this

Netlaw answers: Good morning,

You posted a blog on Netlaw this morning. We reply as follows.

Gift duty is not payable on money or assets which pass under your will. Therefore, you can leave $1,000,000 to someone in your will and it is not classified as a gift.
However, if you wanted to give someone $1 million during your lifetime then that would attract gift duty at 40 cents in the dollar (subject to a more specific calculation about a lesser amount of gift duty in some bands above $27,000) for any amount gifted over $27,000 per year. This is why gift programmes over a number of years have to be set up during the course of your lifetime to avoid or minimise paying gift duty.
But we repeat - money or assets left under a will are not treated as gifts for gift duty purposes. Nor are death duties payable any more. They were abolished well over 10 years ago.

Cheers . . . . Netlaw"

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"I was a witness in Court recently in a criminal case and I was treated really badly. I was searched and then left on my own for over an hour and even then I was not offered and tea or coffee. I think there should be far more done for witnesses.

Donna . . . . South Auckland - February 2007 "

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