Our experience at Rainey Collins is that in daily life people have good intentions about putting their affairs in order and setting up the sorts of documentation they need, but for one reason or other just do not get around to it.

Our clients will have from time to time seen us running competitions, asking what clients think are the best reasons for not getting on with what they know is necessary.

In these unusual and concerning times, it is even more important to focus on what is necessary to put your affairs in order.

At the most basic level, if you became unwell with COVID-19 and your spouse or partner had to take over the management of your affairs, would they know where to start?

It is worthwhile putting together a brief list of your important information, so that anyone needing to manage your affairs has all the relevant details at hand. 

Your list could include:

  • Medical information such as your GP, any prescription medications, and blood type
  • Details of your Enduring Powers of Attorney and Will if you have them, including where those documents are held
  • Details of your lawyer and accountant (and any other professional advisors such as an insurance broker)
  • Financial information such as bank accounts and IRD number
  • Properties you own and property interests such as mortgages, joint ownership, Maori land
  • Insurance information including KiwiSaver and life insurance
  • Investments
  • Business dealings
  • Family trust information
  • Any family heirlooms or taonga to be distributed to specific recipients in the event of your death

We have prepared a template checklist which can be used as a starting point when preparing this information. 

Checklist here

As part of getting your affairs in order, you should consider making a Will and getting Enduring Powers of Attorney.  If you already have these, do they need to be reviewed and updated? 

We recommend reviewing these documents at least every five years to make sure they still reflect your wishes. 

Communicate with your legal advisor as soon as possible to make sure your affairs are well-recorded, and that in these uncertain times you put in place the documents you need.