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FAMILY LAW

Wills - Challenging a Will

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You want to challenge someone's will?  There are 5 different ways.

This site will give you everything you need to know about the basic legal principles of challenging the contents of a will.

We will also give you full copies of examples of the documentation you will need in both cases. You will be able to fill in your own details and download these documents.

There are several ways of challenging a Will. This site will discuss each of them in turn.

We will also give you direct access to any relevant Act of Parliament.

The whole purpose of this site is to allow you to come to your own decisions as to whether you can challenge successfully the provisions of a will and how, at the very least, to do all of the initial preparation work yourself.

This will save you many hundreds of dollars, if not thousands of dollars in these cases.

Lawyers are almost all charging $225 per hour plus GST and,  in some cases, much more than that.

Do the preparation work yourself.

This site will give you a great deal of assistance.

We provide you with a direct link to the Ministry of Justice information page on Wills and Probate.   Just click on :

 

 

 

Beneficiaries are almost always kept fully abreast about matters concerning the administration of the estate.  If you are a beneficiary, then thump the table if you are not kept informed.
 
The Administrator of the will can make distributions before the six months have elapsed and do so in some cases where the risk is minimal or nonexistent.  So there is not a pattern of a complete freezing of distribution until six months have expired.    BUT . . . . . . .
 

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Feedback / Reviews / Blogs on this topic
20-Jun-07
"Very helpful . . . McBreen"
20-Jun-07
"Now that I understand the principles it has made it easier for me to prepare and make final decisions. thank you. Kirsten."
21-Jun-07
"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"
21-Jun-07
"I have made good use of this topic and the other topics on Wills. Well done. Jim H (retired) - Devonport - May 2007"
26-Jun-07
"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"

10-Jan-10
"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 :)))"

01-Jun-10
"HI, posted yesterday trying to find application boilerplate for challenging will due to unsound mind (with medical evidence). Thanks"
Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Acts Of Parliament
"A helpful site. Explained well. Marty - Timaru - January 2007"
Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Acts Of Parliament
"I liked you Civil Index. Not much need for family or criminal but you civil index is very good to have at my fingertips. Thanks for providing this service T. (name withheld)"
"Great assistance. I agree with the above. Your civil topics are great. Better than we get at Polytech where I am studying Business Law. Terry -Dunedin - June 2007"
Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Acts Of Parliament
"Fantastic to get all the new law loaded so quickly, well before the stating date of the new Act. Marty. - tauranga - June 2007"
"Coverage is superb. Helpful and re-assuring.
Mike R - Palmerston North - June 2007 "

Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Acts Of Parliament
"Thanks . . . for us grandparents it was helpful to have a topic dedicated to us although we had to go to some of your other sites to get the full picture and documents. we have aplied for counselling firt.
All the best to the team at Netlaw"

"This website is TOPS!! tnx!! Q:I have a Returning resident visa issued 070307 and would like to take my 2.5 year old child to Europe for a month to simply visit my parents which I havent seen for 2 years! My childs mum(Kiwi) and her oldest daughter went last year all paid for and my parents never had a thank you!!!! and although I notified her months ago about our trip she is emotionally blackmailing me and threatening me with a laywer out of jalousy(?)or the poor thing is scared I might not come back while I have been living and working here for the last 5 years. All our arrangements are made orally. NZ and our boy is my life! Our child is staying with me every other day. I pay weekly 100$ I am a good dad, she is a good mum but I'd like to know her rights and mine as a parent within my current visa situation as well. And although my right to vote in NZ indirectly supports those who are chosen to make these laws I feel as a father quite left on my own since I consider NZ family law extremely father unfriendly..HELP please anyone! Me in Queenstown

Netlaw replies - You need to see the Familky Court at Queenstown at once and ask for counselling to try and sort this out. That costs nothing and should not take long. BUT - you should also ask a lawyer to file an application for an order because that will take a few weeks to get to Court at the very earliest and you will need to ask the Court to take urgency and it is better to file at once as a back up to counselling failing. "

Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Acts Of Parliament
"Thank you. My lawyer was going to charge $800 plus GST minimum for this work. Stuff him! (scuse my french) - Darls - Albany - May 2007 "
"I used this site. I thought the other company sites were also helpful, particularly the ones on suing a company as well as Directors' Liability. Tricky Law. Take care - Henk - Hamilton - April 2007"
Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Acts Of Parliament
"While you have considerable detailed information for the applicant there is no information directed at a respondent and how to respond.
Netlaw responds: Sorry. We will add to the topic today. The Respondent must, within 20 working days, file in the Court and serve on the Applicant, his or her own Affidavit of Assets and Liabilities as well as a Narrative Affidavit."

Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Acts Of Parliament
"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"

Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Acts Of Parliament
"Helpful . . . Muriel"
"Gosh these Trust documents are so long. There should be shorter documents. but I suppose they are necessary. But good of you to include so many docments in your site. We have been helped by your wills sites too. John Mc."
"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"

Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Acts Of Parliament
"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"

Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Acts Of Parliament
"Can the Family Protection Act help 2 kids 11 and 13 to some provision from their fathers estate when there is no will. They live with their mother (divorced from late father) and now his defacto (no children involved) is claiming everything and not willing to make any provision for these children. House and furniture gone to her as purchsed jointly but there is still balance of insurance, super ann. ute, boat and personal effects that could be dispersed to them. At present all they have is hte ACC weekly payment that replaces the child support thir father paid.
Is there anything fathers family can do to get something for his boys? Any thoughts or othe similar experiences??

Netlaw replies: YES. A claim can be made if there is no will. It sounds as if they have a very dtrong case. See a lawyer immediately.

"

"Dear Netlaw,
Our father had a will which was invalidated by a 3-day form of marriage. The woman in question got divorced 1-month before and married our father when he was in a semi-coma and he died 3-days later. The supposed spouse is now applying to be Administrator under the Administration Act and after $121,000 + 1/3 share of remaining property. Could you please advise, do the children (there are 4 of us) have any remedies? Your expertise will be gratefully received and is very much appreciated, thank you.

Netlaw replies: Yes. Children can file a claim under the Family Protection Act 1955 asking the Family Court to provide "further provision" from the will. Our special topic "Family Protection Act 1955" covers the principles.

But in this case, you might also be able to challenge the validity of the new will on the basis of your father's medical condition and possibly on the basis that he signed under pressure."

"Hi
I have a mother who is 80 years old with dementia. We (6 children) don't think she has a will and no EPOA. She has no real assets except $8000 in the bank which is intended for her funeral. Are we likely to run into any problems or major costs if no will exists at her death. Is there anything we could do now to make life easier in the event of her death. I'm guessing if she doesn't have a will now, its probably too late.
Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks

Netlaw replies - It is too late unfortunately. See a lawyer."

Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Acts Of Parliament
"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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