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How to create will nz?

4 Answer(s) Available
Answer # 1 #

What a great question!

The easy answer to this is simply ‘no’. There are so many different options now for making your own will, or a DIY will, that there’s no reason to go to a lawyer.

However, here’s two good reasons why you might want to consider paying a lawyer to draw up a will. The first is if you’re getting other legal work done, and they offer you a free will. A good example is getting conveyancing work done when you buy or sell a house. If it’s free, you should take it!

The second is when your estate (or the stuff you own) is very complicated, or you’re involved in a number of Trusts, or own shares in a number of legal entities. If your affairs are very complicated you may consider a lawyer to ‘cross all the t’s for you’.

Other than that, just take control, and make a will yourself. The following DIY options are all valid ways to make your own will:

This is an important question to ask, and the answer will be a personal decision. In our opinion, if you have a family then you absolutely should make a will.

Have you decided how you want your property and possessions to be distributed if you were to die? Have you thought about who should take care of your children? If you own a home, have you thought about how the mortgage would get paid? If you have step-children, or your kids are grown and have kids of their own, have you thought about how your assets would be divided?

Your “Will” provides your written instructions about what to do with your estate when you die, how you want your dependents (partner and/or children) to be cared for; and what parts of your estate will go to which beneficiaries.

Why is it important to incur the effort and expense of a Will? Well, this is one of the most important documents that you’ll ever create and sign.

If you die ‘intestate’ (this a legal term that means you died without a Will in place), then the Administration Act specifies how your estate will be distributed after your death, which may not be as you truly wished, or even would have expected. Family and friends may then experience significant frustration, stress, delay and costs, especially in the event of a legal claim against your estate.

This isn’t something you would want your family to suffer, while they are grieving.

If you have possessions, property and dependents, then you should make a Will. You should also revise your Will on any significant life change — getting married, divorced, moving in with a partner, or having more children. At a bare minimum, it is wise to revise your will every 5 years.

Asking a close ‘friend’ to just write out a Will for you is probably not the best idea! Having a lawyer create a Will for you can be a very expensive experience (although for some families this is a necessary option, see more below).


And somewhere between the nose-bleed-inducing legal option and the we-really-don’t-recommend-this ‘homer’ version lies the DIY Will. This option should get you a legally binding Will for under $50, and is definitely the option we recommend.

There’s several different options available for making your own Will, depending on how much you want to spend, and how complicated your finances are. Here’s 4 options for making your own Will:

1. Buy a ‘do-it-yourself-will’ online

2. Buy the do-it-yourself NZ Will Kit

3. Contact Public Trust for help

4. Contract a lawyer to draw up a Will

Each have their advantages and disadvantages, depending on your own unique situation. But for 90% of families, we recommend the DIY Will option. It will save you time and money. And you can literally get it done right now.

1. Buy a ‘do-it-yourself-will’ online

An online do-it-yourself Will is by far the most popular way of getting a straightforward will done quickly and cheaply. The Wills you buy online are simple to fill in and legally accurate. Best of all though online Wills cost about 10 times less than using a lawyer. This is definitely our recommended way of making a will. The best, and cheapest, option in New Zealand by far is DIY Wills.

2. Buy the do-it-yourself NZ Will Kit

The NZ Will Kit is available from all good online bookstores. Just fill in the blanks on the template forms, and no lawyer is required. The NZ Will Kit has been used by 1,000s of Kiwis.

3. Contact Public Trust for help

Public Trust can assist you in making a will online or in person, starting from just $69. You can also name them as executor or your will, or ask them to help your chosen executor carry out their tasks. Find out more at Public Trust online.

4. Contract a lawyer to draw up a Will

If you choose this option, you do need to understand that this will be, by far, the most expensive way to draw up a will. However, for some families (eg. those with managed Trusts, blended families, families with businesses, or large financial interests, and those with international assets, or other complicated financial affairs) the protection afforded by a lawyer will be well worth the expense. For this option, make sure you take with you:

Parkash Swami
Answer # 2 #
  • Make unlimited edits over 30 days.
  • Choose your own executor/trustee.
  • Divide your assets among your family.
  • Include information about children if needed - if you have children from a previous relationship you will need to complete a comprehensive will online or book an in-centre will appointment.
Digital epaldik Aprilyn
Answer # 3 #

People mainly use wills to write down family members they want to provide for if they die, and how they want to distribute what they own.

But wills also let us specify someone we would like to look after our kids, or to leave special gifts and meaningful things to people or organisations we choose. They can include special instructions for a funeral, and they typically name the person who will carry out our wishes.

If we don’t have one, or if ours isn't valid for some reason, what we would like to happen may not happen in reality. This could put our families into legal and financial difficulties.

Don't have a will yet, or need to update a previous will? You can get one drafted by someone with experience, such as a lawyer or trustee company. A will must also be signed and witnessed. If the proper procedures are not followed, a will may not be valid.

Wills don’t have to be pricey. Some lawyers will even write one for free, so there’s no harm asking around.

Online platforms such as Public Trust and LawHawk also offer low-cost options for wills and enduring powers of attorney. You can also find planning help at Te Hokinga a Wairua.

Instructions in your will can include:

It's a good idea to set up enduring powers of attorney at the same time as making a will.

A will needs both an executor and a trustee. An executor obtains probate of your will from the court (when required) and the trustee carries out your wishes as set out in your will when we die.

Appointing a professional executor and trustee is often a good idea, particularly if the estate is large or complicated.

Some lawyers and professional trustee companies write wills for free, providing they are named as executor. They will charge your estate a fee for acting as the executor and trustee.

Whenever you go through a big life change like the birth of a child or separation, you should review your will.

For example, if you get married or enter a civil union your will is automatically revoked unless it states otherwise or specifically says that it was made with regard to the coming union.

Other life events like the birth of children or grandchildren, or the purchase of a property, are all good reasons to check your will.

Make sure to keep a copy of the will in a safe and accessible place – and let the executor and loved ones know where it is.

If your will can't be found, your last wishes can't be followed!

1. When you get married, the will you wrote before marriage is no longer valid.

2. If you die without a will, all your assets do not automatically go to your partner.

WinSolutions vtbcqf
Answer # 4 #

Anyone of sound mind who is at least 18 years old can make a will. A person under 18 may make a will if they are (or have been) married or in a civil union or de facto relationship. Others under the age of 18 can make a will if given approval by the Family Court or if they are in the military or are a seagoing person.


Even if you don’t own major assets, you can quite quickly build up possessions that can have monetary or sentimental value to you and to others. You may have some money in a savings account, a car, furniture and household items, a good stereo or home entertainment system, a life insurance policy, some jewellery and so on. A will allows you to decide what will go to whom, even if your possessions have sentimental rather than financial value.

Entering into a relationship: In particular, you should make a will when you marry or enter into a civil union or de facto relationship, or when you have children. If you marry or enter a civil union, any will made before that is automatically revoked unless it was made in contemplation of that particular marriage or civil union (which is best explicitly stated in the will itself). This applies even if you marry or enter into a civil union with someone who is a beneficiary under your existing will.

Ending a relationship: You should revise your will if a relationship ends. If you separate from your spouse or civil union partner with the intention of ending the marriage or civil union, provisions in your will relating to your spouse or partner will remain valid until formal separation orders are made by the court or the marriage or civil union is legally dissolved (that is, you are “divorced”). A separation agreement or relationship property agreement does not revoke your will. So you will have to change your will if you want to exclude your spouse or partner before a separation or dissolution order is made.

When you separate legally or “divorce”, any provisions made for your ex-spouse or civil union partner will be void unless you, as the will-maker, have made it clear in your will that you want them to remain valid.

De facto relationship: The situation is different for de facto partners. Entering a de facto relationship does not revoke an earlier will. This means an existing will benefiting someone other than your current partner remains valid and may disadvantage your current partner. The ending of a de facto relationship does not revoke provisions in your will relating to your former partner. So, if you don’t want that person to administer your estate or to inherit, you must change your will.

Not necessarily, but it gives you more control over the destination of your property than dying without a will. Some statutes (such as the Property (Relationships) Act, Family Protection Act and the Law Reform (Testamentary Promises) Act) allow some people to challenge a will. It is important to get legal advice in order to minimise the chances of your will being challenged.

If you die intestate, the Administration Act specifies how your property will be distributed – usually to a surviving spouse/ partner and immediate family, or to near living relatives, in set proportions. This may not be what you would have wished or what your family wants, and it could involve them and your estate in the cost and effort of making a claim under one or more of the above Acts. If there are no relatives in the categories listed in the Administration Act, then your estate goes to the State. Your lawyer or a family member can still administer your estate if you have not made a will, but only according to the Administration Act.

Because of the importance of your will, the law says it must be made in a prescribed manner. Do-it-yourself kits do not always cover all the aspects you need to consider and the technicalities are outside the scope of this pamphlet, so you should get legal advice about how to make your will.

Though you choose what to say in a will, the law specifies how you should say it. If you do not comply with the law, your will – or parts of it – may be invalid. A lawyer can:

When you see your lawyer, take along:

Whoever you consult about making your will, make sure you check their charges beforehand. Take into account any charges that might apply if that person is going to administer your estate when you die. Call different firms to compare costs and don’t be afraid to discuss cost with your lawyer before you start (see our other pamphlet Seeing a lawyer – what can you expect). At the end of the day, having an expert prepare your will could save your relatives the grief and expense of you having an invalid will or none at all.

Your will should provide for payment of your liabilities such as mortgages, overdrafts and debts.

It should make adequate provision for your dependants (partners, children, adult children not able to look after themselves and, sometimes, parents). If it doesn’t, they may be able to make a claim on your estate.

A gift to one of your children who dies before you will pass automatically to their child (that is, your grandchild) unless your will says otherwise.

Your will should say who you want to inherit your personal possessions as well as your general assets. Some people make a provision in their will asking the executor to observe any list they leave about who is to receive particular less valuable items. If this is handled properly, you may be able to update it without changing your will.

Your will can name preferred guardians of your children (see “Guardianship of children”).

You can set out any specific funeral arrangements that you want, though those organising your funeral are not legally bound to follow those instructions. Where there is no agreement as to burial arrangements, your executor(s) have the right and duty to decide.

You can state your wishes about being an organ/tissue donor. Anyone up to 80 years of age (or 85 for corneas) can be a donor. However, it may be better not to do this in your will but in another document and to make sure your next-of-kin know about your wishes, as it is unlikely your will would be read in time. However, your wishes in this regard are likely to be sought from your next of kin, and consent confirmed by them

If you are interested in leaving your body for teaching and medical science, you need to arrange this with either the Otago or Auckland Medical School before you die. If they agree, you will be asked to lodge the relevant forms with the school. A copy of those details should also be kept with your will.

Your will can also include a bequest or a gift to charity. This might be a specific gift, such as an amount of money or shares or a residue gift – that is, part of anything that is left of the estate after specific gifts.

You can give directions as to how a business you own should be dealt with when you die. That is a complex topic, so you need to consult a lawyer.

Beneficiaries are the people who inherit your property. You can name anyone and any organisation you like as beneficiaries, however, there are circumstances in which people can challenge your will.

Usually you cannot leave any gift to a person who witnesses your will, or any spouse, civil union partner or de facto partner of a witness. However, if you do leave such a gift, it may be declared valid if those who would otherwise benefit agree, or if the High Court is satisfied that the will-maker knew and approved of the gift and made it voluntarily.

There are special laws governing who can inherit Māori land. The process is known as succession and it is covered by Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 (also known as the Māori Land Act).

A will does not prevent you from selling or giving away anything or dealing with your property in any way you choose during your lifetime. Your will takes effect from the date of your death, not from when you sign it. However, often two people make mutual wills agreeing on how to dispose of certain property. They can agree to keep the same arrangement in any future will, by way of a separate contract.

Also, under the Wills Act 2007, if the first person to die keeps the promise but the second person to die does not, then the intended beneficiary can make a claim against the second person’s estate.

You can revoke (cancel) your will at any time (while you are still of sound mind) by:

When you make a new will, you should start by inserting a clause revoking any previous will. It is a good idea to tell anyone holding a previous will that it is no longer current. You should also consider advising any previous executors and trustees if they have been replaced (though that is not legally necessary).

In some circumstances, you can change part of your will without making a new one. However, you should consult a lawyer if you want to do this, to discuss the consequences on other provisions in your will.

You should review your will regularly, say, every five years. You should also review it whenever your circumstances change – if you marry or enter into a civil union or de facto relationship, or when such a relationship ends; if any trustee or significant beneficiary named in the will dies; or if your assets or debts change significantly.

You should also review your will if the law changes. Some major changes in recent years have affected wills so if you have not already done so, check to see if your will is still valid and if it is likely to be challenged under any of the new laws. If your will has been made since 1 November 2007, it is probably valid under the new laws.

Your lawyer or trustee corporation will store your will free of charge. You should tell your executors, a family member or a friend where it is held. When you die, your lawyer or trustee corporation will check to ensure that the will they hold is the last will you made. Most people also keep a copy at home (with a note as to where the original is held).

A number of things can make your will, or parts of it, invalid, including:

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