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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22684
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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I have attached a memo with all info. I look forward to your

Customer Question

Hi Chris,I have attached a memo with all info. I look forward to your response. Hope this finds you well.Regards
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 month ago.

It is necessary to trace how the section was bought, whether from his separate funds and if this was ever treated as relationship property or maintained through joint earnings. If it is possible to show this section was always separate property, then the Public Trustee is correct. His widow has 12 months to make a claim, as the notice is really to try to avoid distribution prematurely. So unless this is resolved she can wait until the last period and then file a claim, under either of the acts.

As to resolution, I would always suggest mediation, as being a much easier and cheaper option. Otherwise you will have to wait until either 12 months expires or she files a claim, and then wait for a court hearing

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thanks Chris. We can show 4 different bank accounts in ***** *****on name only - presumably one for each daughter. 3 held a balance of $200,000 - the third a balance of $50,000 which was being added to by William alone. It appears that Waipatiki was purchased from the $50,000 account which was subsequently being built back up William alone. Once I have the account information from public trust I will be able to get statements and discern. If Angela makes a claim - it will have to be under the Family Protection Act as she is outside the Relationship Act window. How effective is Family Protection Act in such a scenario? Thanks.
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 month ago.

To establish a claim under the Family Protection Act you need to establish a moral duty to provide. This is interpreted fairly widely, but if she is getting a house, then that would seem to be adequate.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thanks Chris. Quick question. If all beneficiaries agree - is it possible to distribute part of the estate and deal with the disputed bit separately? In this case just the Waipatiki property.Thx
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 month ago.

That would be a very sensible option. If everybody agrees then you can draw up a document which records the agreements and reserves the disputed property for further argument. The executor would need to be a party, but they would likely agree anything settle some issues

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