Don’t lose control of your overseas assets

Written by Rebecca Collins - Associate (Trusts and Estates)

Do you have assets overseas?

Many people now own some form of assets overseas, whether it is a timeshare on the Gold Coast, shares in Apple or a UK pension. However many people often don’t know how complicated it can be to deal with these assets after you die.

Different foreign inheritance laws apply

The various inheritance laws differ all around the world.  You may not be able to deal with your overseas assets in the same way as you can with your assets in New Zealand.

For example, in civil law countries such as those in Europe or South America, the concept of forced heirship applies – that is the legislation sets out who gets what when you die and you have no testamentary freedom at all.

Read more here.

PPSR – Tips to protect your position

Written by Holly Cassin - Solicitor (Litigation)

The Personal Property Security Register (PPSR), is a searchable online database of financing statements. If your business supplies customers with equipment or stock on credit or consignment basis, your interest should be registered against each of those customers. When a customer is insolvent, or when you are trying to collect a debt, it is often too late to secure your position. We would recommend all clients consider the benefits of PPSR registrations for their business at an early stage.

There are many aspects to utilising the PPSR and ensuring that your company’s position is as protected as possible.  Below are a few key tips and points to check and review:

Read more here.

Helping Millennials into their first home

Written by Penny Henderson - Partner (Relationships)

There has been much discussion in the media about the difficulty of buying your first home. The government has released the Kiwibuild scheme to both fanfare and criticism. People who qualify enter a ballot for homes, yet to be built. The income level limits for qualification for singles and couples are surprisingly high. It's arguable that there are already homes available in the price range that these houses are to be available for.

Whether you are in the ballot for a new home through the scheme or buying outside, its reported as being increasingly difficult for millennials to be able to save enough to meet the bank's deposit requirements.

For some years parents have been stepping in to assist. Sometimes this means going on the title, being co borrowers, guaranteeing loans or advancing funds to assist. All of these carry risks for parents. If you google topics such as “the bank of Mum and Dad” there are numerous articles on the issues, and not just in New Zealand.

Read more here.

A promise is a promise

Written by Glenn Cooper - Partner (Litigation)

There have been two recent notable High Court decisions regarding testamentary promises.

Basically, a testamentary promise is made when one person agrees with another that the one party will make provision for another in their will to reward them for services and work. If the promise is shown and the provision was not made in the will, the Court will, subject to provisions, order the executors to honour the promise.

The first decision was the matter of Le Couteur v Norris and others [2018] NZHC 1074, which involved a claim by a daughter against her mother’s estate.  The daughter is a residual beneficiary of her mother’s estate, together with her two brothers.  The mother’s will had provided for the daughter to inherit a property previously owned by the mother.  That property had been sold years prior to the mother’s death and the gift was not capable of being made.  The daughter however alleged that her mother had promised to leave to her the mother’s residential property, where ever that may be, as a reward for the loving kindness shown to her mother during her lifetime.  The daughter asked the Court to find that her mother had made a testamentary promise and to order the transfer of the mother’s residential property to her, even though there was no such provision in her mother’s will.  The Court dismissed the daughter’s claim and it is currently being appealed.

Read more here.

Southern Response – Updated deadline to file claims

Written by Holly Cassin - Solicitor (Litigation)

The Limitation Act and limitation deadlines for filing court proceedings for insurance claims has been increasingly relevant since the six-year anniversary of the Canterbury Earthquakes.

At the end of June, Southern Response made an announcement updating their limitation position.

Southern Response’s CEO said:

“Southern Response’s position is that the limitation period runs from the date that Southern Response settles, declines, or we clearly advise our customer in writing that a final decision has been made in relation to their claim.”

Read more here

Cavell Leitch New Zealand Immigration Updates

Written by Natasha Rae - Associate (Immigration) and

Matt Rhodes - Law Clerk

Our Immigration team are sending regular updates to keep you informed of the latest changes to Immigration legislation in New Zealand. To receive these updates please email

See our latest updates for July below:

Proposed changes to post-study work visas

No more visa labels

Minimum income thresholds increased

Illuminate Seminar Series - Helping Millennials into their first home: The Bank of Mum and Dad

Wednesday, 8th August from 5pm

We have developed presentations covering the legal topics you are interested in. This series will include presentations from a range of our specialist teams and cover both professional and personal areas.

Buying your first home can be a daunting process. When buying as a couple you have even more to consider, especially if a parent has put their hand up to help.

Let us point you in the right direction at our upcoming seminar to save you any future heartache.

There will be no charge for these events and drinks and nibbles will be provided. These presentations will offer you the opportunity to learn and ask questions in a relaxed and social atmosphere.

Please email for more details and to register for this event.


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