This category contains 45 posts

Track changes indicative of intention

Wills that do not meet the requirements of the Wills Act 2007 as set out in s 11 of that Act can be validated pursuant to s 14 of the Wills Act.  As noted in Estate of Phillips at [25], “The critical enquiry is whether the documents does any or all of the things described … Continue reading

After the horse has bolted

Moon v Lafferty is an unsuccessful claim for discovery before commencement.  The background of the claim is a family estrangement.  The applicants’ mother settled a trust during her life and gifted $300,000 to that trust from a settlement of $388,871 the deceased received from litigation between her and her daughter Jessica (one of the applicants).  … Continue reading

Thank you, no thank you

Re W relates to the scenario of which movies are made where a relative leaves considerable wealth to a single individual. In this case the prior beneficiary of the deceased’s wealth was to be his sister, W’s mother. However, after the deceased became estranged from his sister, the deceased altered his will so as to … Continue reading

Mirror, mirror on the wall

In New Zealand, mutual wills can arise: (a) by recognition of an institutional constructive trust pursuant to the equitable doctrine of mutual wills, or(b) in relation to wills signed on or after 1 November 2007 through a claim by the intended beneficiary on a promise in relation to mutual wills as provided for in s … Continue reading

Invalid Musings

Violet Filomena Cox (Violet) made a number of wills, the last of which was a hand anotated copy of Violet’s last will and an unsigned draft. The administators of Violet’s estate sought directions under s 66 of the Trustee Act 1956 as to how the estate should be distributed and for a declaration under s … Continue reading

The sometimes slow business of administration

Ethel Moudale Uluakiahoia died intestate on or abut 5 January 1989 leaving 10 adult children, three of whom were some years later appointed administrators in 2008.  Following Mrs Uluakiahoia’s death different family members lived in the Estate’s sole asset, a residential property in Papatoetoe.  Eventually, agreement was reached that one of the administrators Ms Povey, … Continue reading

31 or 32, what is the Court to do?

In Re Estate of Kamo relates to the interpretation of a clause in a will that on the face of it, offends the rule against perpetuities.  The clause in question provides that: “I DIRECT the residue of my estate shall be administered by the Public Trustee as Trustee to provide a scholarship to be known as … Continue reading

Wills during the pandemic

  The Epidemic Preparedness (Wills Act 2007—Signing and Witnessing of Wills) Immediate Modification Order 2020 (the Order), is a temporary order that was made under the Epidemic Preparedness Act 2006. The Order came into force on 17 April 2020 and will be revoked when the Epidemic Preparedness (COVID-19) Notice 2020 expires or is revoked. The … Continue reading

Between death and probate

Christie v Foster relates to complex inter-jurisdictional matters.  However, one aspect of the case relates to the more prosaic question regarding the role of the executor and when this takes legal effect.  This is considered  in Christie v Foster as follows at [62] to [66]: [62] The Irish executors have applied for probate, but their … Continue reading

Fair is a relative concept

  Families are funny old things.  Blood is thicker than water (fact).  But when it comes to who should get the most after Mum and Dad have died, perceptions can become quite  skewed. In Ngui v Ngui the surviving parent left her estate to her four children in equal shares.  So far so fair.  However, one … Continue reading