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Individual rights & freedoms

Wills

Deciding what happens to your property after you die

What this chapter covers

  • Introduction
    What a will is, whether you have to make one, some key legal words (like “probate” and “intestate”) and what they mean
  • Who’s who: Executors and other key people
    The key people involved in dealing with your will and your property after you die, including executors, administrators and trustees
  • Making a will
    How to make a will, including the rules for having your will signed and witnessed
  • Changing your will
    How to change your will if your situation has changed or you’ve changed your mind about what to do with your property
  • Challenges to your will after you die
    Ways your will might be challenged or not followed after you die – for example, a challenge from family members under the Family Protection Act or a court order under relationship-property laws
  • Where to go for more support
    Other information and resources
Next Section | Introduction

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Wills

Where to go for more support

Community Law

www.communitylaw.org.nz

Your local Community Law Centre can provide free initial legal advice and information.

New Zealand Law Society

www.lawsociety.org.nz/for-the-public/common-legal-issues/

Pamphlets

Making a will and estate administration

Dividing up relationship property.

Access pamphlets online or order hardcopies from the New Zealand Law Society.

Phone: (04) 472 7837
Email: pamphlets@lawsociety.org.nz

Ministry of Justice

www.justice.govt.nz/courts/high-court/apply-for-probate-and-get-copy-of-will

This webpage provides some useful information and links on the more technical legal side of getting a copy of a will when a relative has died.

Māori Land Succession

www.maorilandcourt.govt.nz/your-maori-land/succession/

This gives information on how Māori land is dealt with, including how land is dealt with after an owner has passed away.

Public Trust

www.publictrust.co.nz/personal/wills

Phone: 0800 371 471
The Public Trust gives information about things to consider when making a will, setting things up, choosing an executor and estate administration. Facilities are also available for making a will online. You can call them or visit their website to fill out an enquiry form.

Consumer NZ

www.consumer.org.nz/articles/wills

The Consumer NZ website contains good information about wills, including the legal requirements for making a will, and what it’s likely to cost to administer after a person dies.

Also available as a book

The Community Law Manual

The Community Law Manual is a trail-blazing resource that helps Kiwis (and their advocates) help themselves. The Manual contains over 800 pages of easy-to-read legal info, on just about every area of community and personal life. Re-released every year in July, the Manual provides comprehensive answers to common legal questions.

Buy The Community Law Manual

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