Families at War in New Zealand

Families at warThe legal system in New Zealand is similar to that in the United States, including the estate laws. As is true in the United States, when a lot of money is involved in an estate families will sometimes go to war with each other over it.

In the United States we sometimes think that our country is unique and that problems and issues that occur here are not the same as those that occur in other countries. In some cases that is true. However, in other cases it is not true because people are the same everywhere in the world.

One case where it is not true is in the tendency of people to fight over a wealthy estate. Whenever there is enough money involved in an estate to make it worth fighting over, people who are not happy with a distribution plan tend to fight anywhere in the world.

A recent article in The New Zealand Herald, titled"Families at war: When wills go sour," tells accounts of three current disputes over wealthy estates that have families fighting with each other.

While the details of the disputes make for interesting reading, there are more important lessons to be learned from the article. The key take away is that in New Zealand the likelihood that these disputes will arise can be lessened through proper estate planning.  The same thing is true in the United States.

Families will often fight over wealthy estates, but the likelihood of that happening can be lessened with proper estate planning. It is impossible to make the chance of family dispute zero percent, however. If you do not want your family to fight over your estate, then you should see an estate planning attorney to lessen the probability that they will and communicate your intentions to your loved ones in advance.

You can learn more about this topic as well as other strategies on our website under the tab entitled: estate planning in Virginia. Be sure you also sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter so that you may be informed of all the latest issues that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning.

Reference: The New Zealand Herald (October 17, 2014) "Families at war: When wills go sour"


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  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
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Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.