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No Will - an intestate estate - Online CPD

NZ $175.00
Theresa Donnelly 2019 Henry Stokes 2019
Theresa Donnelly
Senior Solicitor, Public Trust
Henry Stokes
General Counsel, Retail, Public Trust

Package includes:

Online CPD Module  l  Electronic booklet  l  PowerPoint Presentation

Package Fee (incl GST)

  • $125 - NZLS members and Associate members
  • $175 - Non-members

Note: Access to the online files is via your "My CPD" page. If you would like to purchase multiple packages, please contact us here.

Online CPD Module

Presentation time: 120 minutes

The death of a family member is an extremely stressful time and this stress can be compounded when the deceased has died without a will. Even when there is a will, if gifts fail, there may be an intestacy or partial intestacy. This seminar will provide practical advice aimed at helping ensure that you are able to effectively guide your clients through the process of an intestate deceased estate.

This seminar will include:

  • An outline of the steps to be taken to locate a will, including advertising
  • Advice on how to assist clients deciding who should be administrator
  • Information on how to act as administrator – with consent of closest relative(s)
  • How to obtain Court authority for the administrator to act – file papers in Court and obtain a Letter of Administration
  • Advice on how to prove the deceased family relationships via a declaration of family history to show all who should be accounted for
  • Practical advice on how to administer the estate
  • Outline of how to distribute the estate in order of priority as set out in the Administration Act 1969.

Please contact us if you use a dial up internet connection.

Learning objectives

By completing this module you will be able to:

  • A greater understanding of how to advise your clients through the process of an intestate deceased estate
  • Practical advice on how to administer an intestate estate.

Electronic paper 

Authors: Theresa Donnelly, Henry Stokes
Published: 19 February 2019
Pages: 62


Approximately 33,0001 New Zealanders die each year and with New Zealand’s aging population; numbers of deaths are expected to increase from year to year. 2 With around 50% of New Zealanders currently dying without a will, this makes this topic of significant importance to practitioners. Even where clients do have a will, if gifts fail there may be an intestacy or partial intestacy. This area has a number of fishhooks that aren’t always apparent if you don’t regularly practice in this space and may also come as a surprise to some of you who do. Estate administration can be a mine field. Administrators can struggle with the paperwork and are often blissfully unaware of their obligations and requirements and are totally dependent upon professional legal advice. Yet many who advise administrators are not fully aware of all the obligations and steps which can be taken to protect their clients.

Estate administration is a very detailed area of law. More and more challenges are being seen than before. This can happen even if there is a will and when there is no will it can become particularly fraught. Remoter claimants such as nieces and nephews are coming out of the woodwork with increasing regularity. This could be due in part to there being more skin in the game, flowing from increased value of estates as a result of the massive increase in New Zealand property prices in recent decades.

This paper will follow through the various matters that should be considered when applying for Letters of Administration and some practical tips when going through the administration process. As part of that we will discuss a number of matters including:

  • Unofficial Administration;
  • Election;
  • Priority of standing;
  • Reasonable inquiries including:
    – Status of Children Act 1969;
    – Declarations of Family History;
    – Obligations in respect of potential claimants;
  • Advertising;
  • Disclosure of unsigned wills;
  • Disclosure of the existence of any capacity issues that may have existed at the time the unsigned will was made;
  • Creditors;
  • Barriers to distribution; and
  • Statutory timeframes.
Throughout this paper references to the Act are to the Administration Act 1969.

1 33,339 as at December 2017 (from Statistics New Zealand website www.stats.govt.nz).
2 Deaths were 2,160 more than in 2016 (from Statistics New Zealand website www.stats.govt.nz).

PowerPoint Presentation

These are the slides included in the presentation.

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