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The role of the executor Often when you are asked to be the executor of a will, you accept the role without truly knowing its parameters. While not wishing to deter anyone from accepting the responsibility to carry out this very important role, you must understand what it entails. When a member of the family or a close friend asks you to be the executor of his or her will, you should seek some legal advice before you say yes. Often the words ‘executor and trustee’ of the will are included together. The roles are often combined these days, with the trustee...

Further change to gun laws

Following the amendments to the Arms Act 1983 (“the Act”) that came into force on 11 April 2019, a second tranche of proposed changes, the Arms Legislation Bill (“the Bill”), is currently under review by the Select Committee. This next step in the reform of the Act looks to establish a firearms registry and amend licensing requirements with the intention of reinforcing positive behaviour that is required of firearms owners. Not much is currently known about the firearms in New Zealand in respect of how many there are (legally), who has them, who is buying and selling, and how secure the...

Bringing the Adoption Act into modern times

The New Zealand Adoption Act 1955 (“the Act”) has been widely viewed as being in need of an overhaul to bring it up to date with the modern times. In 2016 the Human Rights Review Tribunal ruled that sections of the Act were discriminatory and outdated. This article will take a closer look at the specifics of the Act that are not in keeping with today’s New Zealand. Surrogacy - The Act sees the natural mother (the woman who births the child) as the legal guardian of the child. The natural mother is named on the birth certificate and her partner,...

Purchasing a property at auction-what you need to know

When purchasing a property, there are generally two ways in which you can achieve this. The first, the traditional offer method, is by offer and acceptance of a signed Agreement for Sale and Purchase between the vendor (seller) and purchaser (buyer) of a property. The terms of the Agreement for Sale and Purchase can be negotiated between the parties, whether through a real estate agent or a private sale. These types of agreements, can contain terms, known as special conditions to enable the purchaser sufficient time to ensure they have completed their due diligence on the property including (and not limited...

Types of trusts and their benefits

There are many types of trusts that can be tailored to achieve a specific purpose. The general purpose of a trust is to protect your assets and provide for desired succession planning for future generations. A trust is created by a trust deed whereby a person (the settlor) transfers property to the trustees of the trust. The trustees control the property in accordance with the trust deed for the benefit of the beneficiaries (which can include the settlor). This article focuses on four types of trusts that are commonly used within New Zealand. These include family trusts, inheritance trusts, business trusts...

Bramwell Bate News

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How many directors need to sign? Signing documents that bind a company to obligations and potential liability is a key aspect of being a director of a company. It is part of the role when a director is guiding and running the company. While shareholders are required to ratify major transactions and key decisions, day to day, the directors are in control. They can delegate duties to CEOs and managers but ultimately have responsibility for directing and overseeing what the company employees do. Directors sign key documents at the Board level, following the constitution of the company, which spells out how many directors...

Sole Trader and Limited Liability Company-liability compared

A sole trader is a common ownership structure that can be used to operate a small business. The main operator of the business may be one person, supported by a family member such as a spouse. Operating a business may be risky if the right asset protection and insurance is not in place to support the sole operator. The extent of their liability is that they are personally liable for any business debt or loss, including taxes. For debt owing to a creditor, a claim can be made against the personal assets of the sole trader, including funds in bank accounts,...

Overview of the new gun law changes

Following the Christchurch Terror Attack of March 15th 2019 changes to the gun laws in New Zealand have been made. The Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines, and Parts) Amendment Bill came into force on 12th April 2019; which was rather swiftly by legislative standards. The aim of the Bill is to tighten gun control in New Zealand by amending the Arms Act 1983. The most significant change the Bill makes is prohibiting semi-automatic firearms, magazines, and parts that can be used to assemble prohibited firearms. Semi-automatic firearms, other than those that are capable of only firing up to 0.22 calibre cartridges and...