Trusts and Wills

Why are trusts and wills important?

The idea with a family trust is to protect the ownership of our assets. Here’s how trusts work: we transfer the legal ownership of our assets to the trustees while continuing to use and enjoy them as long as the trust deed permits. For example, if our family home is in a trust, we no longer personally own the house – but we can still live in it if that’s what the trust deed states and the trustees agree.

Family trusts are designed to protect our assets and benefit members of our family beyond our lifetime. When our assets are in a family trust we no longer have legal ownership of them – the assets are owned by the trustees, for the benefit of our family members.

What do trusts and wills involve?

People usually set up a family trust to get some benefit from no longer personally owning an asset. A family trust may be useful to:

  • Protect selected assets against claims and creditors – for example, to protect a family home from the potential failure of a business venture.
  • Set aside money for special reasons, such as a child or grandchild’s education.
  • Ensure our children, not their partners, keep their inheritances.
  • Manage the risk of unwanted claims on our estate when we die – such as from a former partner.

Every person over the age of 18 needs a will and an enduring power of attorney. This is absolutely crucial.

What happens if I don’t have a trust or will?

If something happens and you don’t have a will or an enduring power of attorney, decisions can’t be made until someone is chosen (usually by the courts) to do this. Not only that but there are other consequences especially from a financial point of view. If you have no will the costs of administering your estate increase dramatically and any assets could be sold to pay the lawyers battling over your estate leaving nothing for any of your family. Also the person chosen to make the decisions and the decisions that are made, may not be what you would have wanted. Do you really want to this to happen?

Do I have to keep my trust or will updated?

Even if you have will or enduring power of attorney in place, it’s just as important to keep them up to date. Life brings constant change and things like marriage, divorce, births and deaths may all affect your wishes. If your Will is not current, your assets may not go the people you intended or even to the wrong people. You cannot let this happen.

we make it easy

DAA goes that extra mile to look after you. We can offer meetings at your premises or home. Our mobile meeting service is also available after hours, and best of all, are provided at no extra cost! This is ideal for people who want to meet but not available during usual working hours.

We service all areas of Christchurch from Sumner to Rakaia, Akaroa to Rangiora and everywhere in between