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PLAN AHEAD TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES

Whether it’s making a will, managing your assets or deciding who will make decisions for you if you are unable, we can help.

As we grow, our lives and our needs change. Buying a house, getting married or separated, or having children or grandchildren all influence how we want to manage our assets and look after our own wellbeing.

Planning ahead will help you ensure your own comfort and financial wellbeing and the outcomes you want for your family and loved ones.

We advise our clients on matters such as occupation right agreements; the residential care subsidy; enduring powers of attorney; wills; living wills; establishing, managing and winding up trusts; and administering estates.

Your will contains your instructions about how you want things distributed when you die. It means you can be certain that your pets, home and other assets are going exactly where you want them to, and ensures there are no arguments about funeral arrangements among family members. If you have young children, your will can also appoint someone to act as their testamentary guardian.

A will must be signed and witnessed correctly to be valid (our lawyers can do this with you). It’s also a good idea to set up enduring powers of attorney at the same time as making a Will.

We may find during our initial chat with you that there are particular issues that need to be addressed in your will to avoid the risk of later disputes. A will prepared just for you and your particular situation will ensure a much better outcome for you than an off-the-shelf document can do.

Once you have made your will, you need to make sure it stays up to date. Having children, getting separated, or buying property are all good times to review your will and check it still meets your needs. Getting married or entering a civil union automatically revokes your will unless it states otherwise.

Make sure to keep a copy of your will in a safe and accessible place – and let your executor and loved ones know where it is.

Did you know you can move your will with you? It’s a simple process to bring your existing ill across to our firm, where we can review it with you and hold it for safe keeping.

If your will can’t be found, your last wishes can’t be followed!

Digital wills

While it is not a legal document, it can be a good idea to create a “digital will” at the same time you make your legal will. A digital will sets out what happens to your digital footprint: your accounts, user names, passwords and images on all of your social media, email and other online accounts. We can help draft this with you.

OUR SPECIALISTS

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Megan Bawden

Director

Office: Whangarei

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No one likes to think about things going wrong, but planning ahead is invaluable if they do. Enduring powers of attorney let you decide who can make decisions about you and your property if you can’t make those decisions due to illness or injury.

People are often surprised to learn that your “next of kin” has no automatic right to make those decisions for you. If you want to be sure that they can, you need to appoint them as your attorney under an enduring power of attorney. If you don’t, your family may need to go to court to have a property manager and welfare guardian appointed to make those decisions.

We recommend that everyone over the age of 18 years has enduring powers of attorney in relation to their property, and their personal care and welfare.

Enduring powers of attorney are different to general powers of attorney. General powers of attorney give someone authority to make decisions for you (for example, to manage your financial affairs while you are away overseas for an extended period) but become invalid if you lose the ability to make your own decisions. Enduring powers of attorney are invoked when you lose the ability to make your own decisions.

Sometimes you may need both kinds of powers of attorney, and our lawyers can advise you about what arrangements will best suit your needs.

When someone dies, there’s a lot to organise at a time when emotions are running high. Many of us have never dealt with organising a funeral, let alone administering an estate, and don’t know what to expect.

Our highly experienced estates team will guide you through the legal process required to deal with a person’s estate on their death. They will explain what an executor does and what probate is, assess whether probate is required and obtain it if it is, assist executors with their duties, notify beneficiaries, and deal with the myriad of things to be done when administering an estate.

OUR SPECIALISTS

As we age we often face decisions relating to retirement, disability and estate planning.

We have a strong and highly experienced team focused on the legal needs of those past retirement age and their families. We can guide you about when to seek advice, your rights and your options. We also offer a SuperGold card discount.We frequently help our clients with issues such as:

  • moving to a retirement village, and the agreements involved
  • rest home care and the residential care subsidy
  • enduring powers of attorney, which allow you to decide who can make decisions for you if and when you cannot
  • advance directives, sometimes called “living wills”, which set out your wishes for end of life care
  • managing your trust, and reviewing whether it is still working for you
  • your will, and
  • estate administration.

OUR TEAM

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Megan Bawden

Director

Office: Whangarei

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Neil McNab

Director

Office: Whangarei

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Patrick Steuart

Director

Office: Warkworth

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Vanessa Crosby

Consultant

Office: Whangarei

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Andrew Easterbrook

Associate

Office: Whangarei

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Julia Ingham (Lockwood)

Senior Lawyer

Office: Warkworth

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Chloe Davenport

Lawyer

Office: Kerikeri

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Courtney Henley-Smith

Lawyer

Office: Whangarei, Warkworth

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Natalie Robinson

Lawyer

Office: Whangarei, Dargaville

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