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Now is the Time to Tackle Life’s Tough Questions

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Now is the time to tackle life’s tough questions

Most of us would rather plan a holiday than a Will. We’d rather organise a family celebration than a family Trust. And there are always reasons to put off this kind of planning: you’re too busy, you’re too young to worry about these things. In June, Public Trust interviewed 11 unsuspecting couples to find out if they knew the answers to some of life’s toughest questions and to see how prepared they were for the future. Their responses ranged from sorted to head-in-the-sand – much like their fellow New Zealanders! If you’re among the 55 per cent of Kiwis* who aren’t prepared for the future, and need some help, there’s a team of independent, trusted specialists you can turn to – at Public Trust. 

Kim and Charlie

“I wrote my Will about 10 years ago, but Charlie and I met four years ago. I’m sure, if we updated our documents, we’d add each other to our Wills… We each have our own money, and our own houses in Trusts. We have our own businesses, but we also bought a bach together and we share other day-to-day expenses. We’re so busy working! But we should look into updating our Wills.” – Kim

Public Trust’s Advisors and lawyers help more New Zealanders write their Wills than anyone else. Because your family and work life will change from year to year, Public Trust recommends updating your Will every five years. Public Trust manages all types of estates, from the straightforward to the complex, and helps you protect and manage your family assets. 

Fiona and Scott

“My sister would be guardian to my two children. And my property would go to my children so they’d be looked after, to a certain extent. I believe Scott has done the same for his daughter.” – Fiona

Your children are the most precious of anything you leave behind. While they’re young, it’s extremely important you have an up-to-date Will that names a testamentary guardian – who can help make the “big decisions” for your children (aged under 18 years), should something happen to both parents. 

Jean and Wayne

“I had a husband who died intestate and I know how hard it was to go through that minefield… I was a very young widow with a young child. Who thought in your 20s you’d need a Will? But I tell everyone: get a Will. The struggle, I had no money, the bank account was frozen. If not for my wonderful parents, I’d have been sunk.” – Jean

Dying without a Will – “intestate” – means a government act determines the management of your Estate and a strict hierarchy of rules must be followed. For your loved ones left behind, the process can be lengthy and difficult.

“I nursed my mother for quite some time before she had to go into hospital. She didn’t have any plans in place other than her Will. For her health and welfare, I had to take charge of everything. It was a challenge, but I was blessed to be able to do it for her.” – Jean

If you need help to manage your property and financial matters, a dedicated Advisor can be on hand to do as much or as little as needed. Public Trust’s Personal Assist provides the peace of mind of being in control, without the stress.

“I haven’t looked into Trusts at all. I’ve done everything through a Will, and Jean and I did a pre-nup agreement when we got together years ago, so I felt what I’d done was enough to cover it all.” – Wayne

Transferring and gifting your assets to a Trust is an effective way of ensuring that the people you wish to benefit from your assets do so. If you think that your estate is likely to be challenged, have a discussion with Public Trust so we can advise you on your particular situation.

“Jean and I both wish to be cremated – we don’t want any fuss. I don’t want a great big expense for a funeral. We’re both of the opinion you can spend a lot of money for nothing, really.” – Wayne

Being Executor for an estate can be a complex job, so it’s important that whoever you choose has the right skills. Appointing a professional Executor, like Public Trust, means an experienced, independent Executor will manage everything. Public Trust also offers an Executor Assist service, to help Executors fulfill their role easily and efficently. 

Fuli and Vaiponga

“We’ve thought about a Will and looked at it online, but we’ve never actually done it. If something happened to us, we’d want to decide who looks after the kids and our money. I just figured our family would take care of things.” – Fuli

A Will should be paired with an Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA), enabling you to choose a trusted friend, relative or organisation like Public Trust to make important welfare and financial decisions on your behalf if you’re unable. There are two types of EPA to consider: one covers your personal care and welfare – the other, your property. 

“I work at uni as a tutor and do other odd jobs there, and Pongi works as a caregiver, so we bring in about the same amount. If one of us was to die… we’ve got some money saved, but the family would be in a bit of financial trouble.” – Fuli

 Have you asked the tough questions? Take the quiz now at Publictrust.co.nz