Should We Help The Kids Buy a House?

There has been much talk lately of adult children turning to the ‘bank of mum and dad’ to help bolster their house deposit savings and enable them to finance their first home. On 1 October, the Reserve Bank regulated high loan-to-value ratio (LVR) lending by requiring home buyers to come up with at least a 20% deposit. This is frustrating for would-be first home buyers who have found that the requirements to buy have changed. It has also been concerning to hear speculation that many young adults will simply ask their parents to help them get across the new threshold.
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Marriages and Name Changes

Individuals are able to assume a partner’s name immediately after getting married without any formal procedures. It is not necessary to register a name change. In such situations, both the maiden name and new name of a person will be recognised. When changing names on bank statements for example, a marriage certificate will be sufficient evidence to validate the change. Passports can remain unchanged and carry a maiden name. However for those wanting to record a name change officially, an application can be made to Births, Deaths and Marriages by making a statutory declaration and completing a name change form.
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Abolishment of Gift Duty and Impact on Trusts

The abolishment of gift duty in October 2011 has changed the nature of asset and estate planning by making it possible to gift unlimited amounts directly to a trust in one transaction. There are however, certain consequences that donors (people making a gift) need to be mindful of when considering the amounts they wish to gift. Some of these are discussed below. RESIDENTIAL CARE SUBSIDY ENTITLEMENT Despite the changes to gift duty, the eligibility requirements for a residential care subsidy have remained the same. One of the eligibility tests for a means assessment is that the donors do not deprive
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Joint Tenants vs. Tenants in Common

In New Zealand, when purchasing a property personally with another party you can choose to own the property as Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common. Deciding which form of ownership to use depends entirely on your personal circumstances. The differences between Joint Tenants and Tenants in Common are explained briefly below. JOINT TENANCY Joint tenancies arise when two or more people (‘joint tenants’) buy a property together and their shares in the property are undivided and undefined. One important feature of a joint tenancy is the right of survivorship. This means that when one of the joint tenants dies, their
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The Whole Truth About Jury Service

Type of cases which juries are likely to observe In New Zealand juries are generally only used for criminal cases. The only civil cases in which juries are commonly used are defamation. There have been cases in New Zealand in which plaintiffs claiming damages for breach of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 have requested jury trials, but the judges typically rule that the legal issues are too complicated for juries to apply. The same reasoning was applied in the decision declining Susan Couch’s request to have a jury trial for her claim against the Parole Board for
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