Online CPD Module l Booklet l PowerPoint Presentation
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Online CPD Module
Presentation time: 90 minutes
New Zealand’s laws enacted to deal with inheritance rights and claims against estates contemplated more conventional family structures than we see today. Now with second and subsequent relationships, families are frequently reconstituted. On the death of a family member, multiple property claims may arise for an estate from different categories of claimants within the reconstituted family.
In this module the presenters will discuss practical options for dealing with diverse family structures, getting on top of the timeframes and provide a roadmap for working with diverse claims that may arise under the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 and Family Protection Act 1955.
Topics covered will include:
- What’s new
- What you need to be aware of when advising your client about a possible claim
- What are the executor/administrator’s roles and responsibilities
- Practical points to consider when distributing an estate and timeframes.
You will gain:
- An overview to assist when dealing with estate administration and diverse claimants.
- A roadmap to show possible courses of action when key things happen, how to address claims under the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 and Family Protection Act 1955 and what proceedings may be required.
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Authors: Jacqui Beilby, Penelope Stevenson
Published: 22 July 2015
This paper has its genesis in a seminar presentation on behalf of NZLS (Auckland) in Auckland in February 2015 and is the background reading for our presentation. It has been devised with regard to a fact situation regarding an estate which is to be further developed in the webinar.
Our work concerns estates and the issues that can arise on the administration of estates. We are familiar with the issues that arise for executors, for clients who are named as beneficiaries in wills, and for family members who may have not been named as beneficiaries or who have other concerns with their share of the estate of a family member.
We have prepared this paper with two goals in mind.
Our first goal is to provide practitioners with a practical “roadmap” for aspects of the management of claims concerning estates under the Family Protection Act 1955 and Part 8 of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976. Any claims for surviving spouses and for other family members need to be made within the timeframes that are provided for in this legislation. Estate administrators need to be aware of the possibility of claims being made against an estate in the discharge of their responsibilities.
Our second goal is to invite practitioners to consider the family relationships that are provided for in the legislation under consideration. We discuss, as a discrete example, a recent Supreme Court decision which emphatically demonstrates that the legislation does not reflect contemporary 21st century family dynamics. This is the decision in Wood-Luxford v Wood  1 NZLR 451 which considers the definition of “step child” in the Family Protection Act 1955 and arrives at a result that is neither consistent with the family’s view of itself nor allows the step child to have access to necessary maintenance and support from his step father’s estate.
After setting out the fact situation, the paper outlines the framework of Part 8 of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 and the relevant provisions for a claim by a surviving spouse. The paper refers to factors for a surviving spouse to take into consideration in deciding whether to either apply for division of relationship property or take under the will of their deceased spouse including timeframes. The next part of the paper deals with the range of claimants under the Family Protection Act 1955, the matters for advisors to consider in assisting potential claimants to decide whether to bring a claim, and concludes with a section on practical issues for estate administrators to address.
These are the slides included in the presentation.
Number of Slides: 31