Phillip and Tania had been together for almost two years and had started considering marriage.  Phillip had been meaning to make a Will to include Tania but had never got around to it.  He died suddenly, devastating Tania and his family.  Tania was shocked to hear from Phillip’s lawyer that she was not entitled to receive anything, by law, from his Estate – it all went to Phillip’s parents.
Because their relationship was not long enough to meet the criteria, Tania couldn’t even make a claim on Phillip’s estate under relationship property laws.  Luckily for Tania, Phillip’s parents decided to give some of the Estate to her as they knew it would have been his intention for that to happen. 

A Will is an invaluable document that can spell out:

  • Who you want to be the executor of your Estate (the person who deals with your estate and ensures that the wishes in your Will are followed);
  • Where you want your personal items and assets to go;
  • Guardians for any infant children;
  • Directions for your funeral and any preferences regarding cremation or burial.

Unless your wishes are written in a properly signed and witnessed Will, they will have no legal effect.

Please note that Rainey Collins is not contracted to provide Legal Aid, other than in the Treaty of Waitangi area.  We therefore are unable to take on any Civil or Family Legal Aid work. If you require Legal Aid in those areas, you can search the list of Legal Aid lawyers on the Ministry of Justice website.