FAQs

Welcome to our FAQ area, if you can't find what you're looking for you can use our form at the bottom of the page.

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Can I donate to my own favourite charity?

At Footprint we like advocating for the heroes of today. That’s why we’ve partnered up with 3 very special charities close to our hearts as part of our ‘Give and get back’ programme. When you become a Footprint member, you can choose which of the 3 charity communities you’d like to be a part of.  Your membership gives you access to your own Footprint Hub where you receive live updates on the positive impacts you and your chosen charity are having around the globe. Unfortunately you can’t choose a particular charity outside of the three we currently support in our ‘Give and get back’ programme. However, if you’d like to leave something special behind for another heroic cause close to your heart, you can always leave a gift behind for your favourite charity in your Will.

Can I update my Will more than once in a year?

Every story has ups and downs, plot twists and new beginnings. We understand new life events have a big effect on your story, so as part of your membership with Footprint you can make one update to your Will annually without any additional cost - letting you keep on top of any important changes in your life. If you’ve updated your Will once already and would like to update it a second time that same year, there is the option to purchase a single online Will for $100 here. You can load this into your Vault alongside your other important documents at any time.

Are my estate administration fees prepaid?

With Footprint, your membership fees are not prepaying your estate expenses.  We’re the same as your usual subscription models (kind of like Netflix), where you have access to all features and benefits while your membership is up to date. If you choose to cancel your membership, then at the end of your payment term *CAPOOF*, your access to all our features and benefits will stop – this includes the Estate Administration service.

What happens if I appoint my own executor?

We hoped you would ask that question!  This is one of the unique things about becoming a Footprint member. Whether you’ve chosen a family member or Perpetual Guardian (our authorised estate administration provider) to be your executor – we’ve still got you covered!

As a Footprint member your chosen executor has a choice whether to use the executor support service provided by Perpetual Guardian, or to go it alone. But, because we believe in transparency, we wanted to be upfront that if your executor elects not to use the service, then your estate will not be issued a refund on any membership fees.

Footprint chooses to work with New Zealand’s leading trustee company Perpetual Guardian. If your executor decides to use a different estate administration provider, any fees incurred through this provider will be charged to your estate, as your Footprint membership does not include payments to unauthorised providers. This means your estate may be liable for further fees, costs and disbursements incurred by your executor outside of your Footprint membership. For more information on what our executor support offers, check out our terms and conditions here.

What other fees might my estate have to pay for?

Good question! Your Footprint subscription fees don’t include third party disbursements such as;

  • Improvements to your property if it’s being sold (improvements could be giving it a fresh lick of paint, or fixing the creaky porch step etc.).
  • Any costs associated with appointing a real estate agent, and any fees associated with selling your home.
  • Payments to third parties on your behalf (e.g. settling any debts, or paying for any funeral accounts etc.).
  • Protection of your property if it’s being sold (e.g. cost of insuring your home or any security for your property).
  • Specialist advice of third party professionals (this is if we need advice from professionals outside of our realm of expertise if we run into issues e.g. lawyers and accountants).
  • Any fees associated with obtaining probate.

Additionally, if your requirements are deemed “complex” additional charges will apply. The list below provides examples of “complex”:

  • Assets outside of New Zealand;
  • Assets given to beneficiaries that live outside of New Zealand;
  • An intestate estate;
  • An estate appointing co-executors;
  • A charitable trust, inheritance trust or a testamentary trust;
  • A life interest or right of occupancy in any properties of the estate; or
  • An estate which is challenged by your beneficiaries or potential beneficiaries.

Full details are laid out in the Footprint terms and conditions, click here to read more…

Can I update my Will? – Terms and conditions

Your Footprint subscription entitles you to an annual update of your online Will. This service lets you make any changes that are supported by the Footprint platform .

If the changes you wish to make cannot be supported by the Footprint platform such as where the said change(s) requires legal advice and/or is likely to make your estate “complex”[1], we will recommend an appointment with a Perpetual Guardian adviser. You will receive a $50.00 discount off the additional charges that apply if this is required.

If you have elected to upload a Will drafted from a provider other than Footprint or Perpetual Guardian, Footprint is in no way responsible for the quality or accuracy of the contents or structure of this Will. Footprint annual updates are available to the subscriber however, only in the instance were the Footprint platform is being utilised. The $50 consult discount only applies to Perpetual Guardian Wills and not any other providers. Click here to read more about our terms and conditions.

[1] Refer to Footprint Service Exclusion, paragraph “b” for details.

What support does my executor get? – Terms and conditions

Where Perpetual Guardian is not named as executor in your Will, Perpetual Guardian are able to support your executor by preparing documents and providing guidance and advice. Perpetual Guardian’s assistance will exclude completing any transmission(s), transfers or sale of property as Perpetual Guardian is prohibited from undertaking certain tasks with respect to an estate where Perpetual Guardian has not be appointed as executor. 

If your executor does not request Perpetual Guardian’s executor support, your estate will not be issued any refund of any subscription fees paid to Footprint and your estate may be liable for fees, costs and disbursements incurred by your executor. Click here to read more about our terms and conditions.

When do you take the money for my membership?

Once you’ve become a member of Footprint, payments for your membership will renew on the anniversary of your subscription date (the day your first payment was received – kind of like your subscription birthday). For the first year of membership your Footprint fees will be taken as an annual payment. From year two you can choose to pay your subscription in either annual (which will be the automatic default) or monthly payments! Wahoo!

What happens if I change my credit card?

If you change your credit card, it’s best practice to let us know before your membership comes up for renewal to ensure your payment goes through, and you retain access to all your Footprint membership benefits. Don’t stress if you forget to do this though, as we’ll send you a reminder before your next renewal date. This will include a request to let us know if your credit card details have changed. We'll also notify you if your payment doesn’t go through.

How do my family know that I have a subscription?

A special function included in your Footprint membership (and something we are rather proud of) is your ability to set up notifications for people who you’d like to notify of your membership to Footprint. Research showed us that over 39% of people didn’t know where their parent’s Wills were stored (crazy right!). We thought we’d change that by giving you access to push notifications that enable you to notify your beneficiaries,  your executor, or  anyone else of your Will’s existence and location (in your Footprint Vault).  These notifications won’t give anyone visual or physical access to your Will or your Vault, and you can choose to change these notification settings at any time.

How do my family get access to my Will and estate administration service after I die?

First of all, if you‘ve notified the important people in your life of your Will’s existence and  whereabouts through the notifications function in your Vault, your loved ones should have no problem finding  where your Will is stored.

If you’ve selected Perpetual Guardian as executors for your Will, your family can contact them directly to discuss next steps. Perpetual Guardian runs checks every day to identify if an estate administration client has passed away - so if one of your close family members or friends don’t make direct contact with Perpetual Guardian, they will make contact with your family themselves.

If you’ve selected a personal friend or family member to be your executor, they’ll need to reach out to Perpetual Guardian directly to seek support for their executor duties. Once their identity has been confirmed they’ll have access to the executor support service provided by Perpetual Guardian.

How long do I have to pay my subscription for?

Your membership and all that comes with it (an online Will, annual online Will updates, your digital Vault, access to a personalised Hub, charity contributions, and the exclusive estate administration service) is available while you continue to be a member of Footprint. Since it’s not a prepay system, your access to all of the features and benefits lasts as long as you choose to have a membership with Footprint (we hope it’s a long relationship).

When you first subscribe to Footprint, you pay an annual fee. From year two you can choose to pay this monthly, if that is your preference – it’s totally your choice.

If I stop my membership, are my estate administration costs still covered?

With Footprint, your membership fees aren’t prepaying your estate administration expenses.  We’re the same as your usual subscription models (kind of like Netflix), where you have access to features and benefits while your membership is up to date. If you choose to cancel your membership with us, your access to the features and benefits also stops – this includes the exclusive Estate Administration service valued at $10,000+.

What do I get in my membership?

  • An exclusive estate administration service, valued at $10,000+ 
    Reducing costs and stress for the people you care about.
  • An online Will  (or a $50 discount off a Perpetual Guardian consult Will) 
    To help make sure all your assets (valuable stuff) go to the right people.
  • An annual online Will update (or a $50 discount off a Perpetual Guardian consult Will update) 
    Keeping your legal document valid and flexible, so everything stays up to date alongside any important life changes.
  • Access to a digital Vault 
    Where you can keep important documents, and information, as well as send important notifications.
  • An annual contribution to your selected charity 
    With our ‘Give and get back’ programme you’ll see your contribution grow each year alongside a community of others who have selected the same charity as you. You’ll also receive real time updates on the contributions you and your community are making in New Zealand or overseas.
  • Access to your personalised Information Hub 
    Here you’ll have access to your personalised information, content, and community contributions. You can share your impact on your social media to inspire or challenge others!
  • Access to service support 
    Phone, email, Skype.
  • Access to the Footprint Learning lab 
    Videos and infographics that tells you all you could ever want to know about estate planning.
  • Physical Storage of your original Will 
    Making sure your original Will is stored somewhere safe and secure for when it's needed.

Can I subscribe for an EPA?

It’s a neat idea, and might be something we’re already looking into. However Footprint’s subscription services don’t extend to Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) at this stage. If you’re looking for an EPA, you can purchase one separately here.  At Footprint we chose to work with one of New Zealand’s leading trustee companies, Perpetual Guardian. They will help you complete your EPA and make sure it works for you in the way you need it to.

How do I cancel my membership?

You can cancel your membership to Footprint at any time - all we’ll need from you is an email notifying us of your cancellation. If you choose to cancel your membership part way through year one, or if you’ve chosen to pay monthly in year two and would like to cancel mid-month, no refunds will be provided. You do however still have full access to all benefits and features included in your membership until the end of the year (for year one), or the end of the month (year two monthly payments).  You can email us at info@myfootprint.co.nz to cancel at any time. For more info, check out our Footprint’s terms and conditions.

What happens if I cancel my membership?

With Footprint, your membership fees are not prepaying your estate expenses.  We’re the same as your usual subscription models (kind of like Netflix), where you have access to all features and benefits while your membership is up to date. If you choose to cancel your membership, your access to all features and benefits also stops – this includes your Estate Administration, and access to your digital Vault and anything you’ve stored in it.  Not to worry, we’ll give you a full month to remove all your personal files and content from the vault before closing your account. For more info, check out our terms and conditions.

What happens to the contents in my digital Vault if I cancel my membership?

Simply put, if we receive notification of your cancellation, or non-payment of your membership fees, you’ll have one month to remove all your personal files and content from your vault before your account is closed. We won’t just spring this on you though! You’ll receive reminders from us on how to remove anything you have stored with us, and tips on how to securely store your Will without using our service. For more info, check out our terms and conditions.

What happens when I die?

Well… isn’t that something we've all asked ourselves...

But, if you’re referring to what happens to your stuff, or your executor, there we can help you. There are no written rules about who needs to contact who first after you pass away. If you‘ve named Perpetual Guardian as your executor, they’ll handle the details involved in administering your estate - this includes contacting next of kin, and sorting through all the legal aspects. For more info on what’s involved in administering an estate with your Footprint subscription, click here.

As your family usually knows of your passing before anyone else does, they can get in contact with Perpetual Guardian to get some help on next steps, and be provided with the peace of mind that they’re in good hands. If you choose a family member or friend to be your executor, and they’d like to utilise Perpetual Guardian’s executor support service, they’ll need to get in touch with Perpetual Guardian directly. For more info on Perpetual Guardian’s executor support, check out our terms and conditions. Once they’ve provided proof of their identity, a meeting will be set-up to discuss next steps

Who has access to my Vault?

By ticking the acknowledgement section on the last page of your Will instructions, you are declaring that you understand and agree to Footprint authorised staff members having access to your Will and the section in your vault where it is stored. To clarify Footprint authorised staff are only able to see that your Will is stored correctly in your vault and any system errors. The Will drafter does receive a copy of the Will once you have submitted it to us for final drafting, once complete a copy of your Will is loaded into the Will section of your vault. You’re the only person with full access to your Vault during your membership, meaning we won’t have access to any other personal files or content. When you pass away, your chosen executor will be given access to administer your estate (aka distributing all your personal belongings, paying any bills, applying for probate etc.). In this way your Vault is treated the same as any other part of your estate.

What can I store in my Vault?

So glad you asked! Did you know your Vault is not only there for you to store your Will? It’s also been designed to hold files you want your executor to have access to when you pass away. This could include, receipts, insurance policies, bank account information, special photos or video messages you want to leave to the people most important to you. Your Vault also allows you to set up push notifications that notify your beneficiaries, your executor, or anyone else of your Will’s existence and location (stored in your Vault). These notifications won’t give anyone visual or physical access to your Will or your Vault, and you can choose to change these notification settings at any time.

How do I sign and witness my Will?

With your Will all written and checked, all that’s left to do is sign and witness it. This particular step is important to get right - something as small as a poorly placed scribble could put your Will in danger of being contested. Here’s a quick checklist of things to consider before signing:

  • Make sure your Will is printed single-sided.
  • Make sure to double check everything in your Will.
  • Make sure you sign your Will in blue or black pen.
  • Do you have two witnesses for your Will there with you?
  • Are those witnesses older than 18 years of age, and cannot be named in your Will (e.g. any beneficiaries in your Will - partner, children, guardian etc).
  • Make sure not to staple your Will at any point (re-stapling could make it invalid).
  • Make sure not to pin or attach anything else to your Will at any point.

Now that you’ve got everything ready and in place for signing and witnessing, here’s what you’ll need to do next:

1. Dating your Will

On your Will there’s a section where you write the date. This needs to be the same date your Will was signed and witnessed. Make sure to do this correctly - for example:

DATED this 1st day of January 2018.

2. Signing and witnessing your Will

Sign your Will in blue or black pen on the last page where it can be clearly seen, and initial each of the other pages as well – make sure to do this in front of your two witnesses.

Both your witnesses should initial each page and sign on the last page in the presence of each other. They should also add their occupations and addresses in the section provided on the final page. I'f you're not too sure how to do this, checkout out instruction video by clicking here.

3. Making changes to your Will

After submitting your Will using our online system, our legal drafters will send you a copy for your final review. If you feel your Will isn’t quite right and want to change something, we’ve given you one free Will revision. We recommend you take some time to sit down and really examine what you’d like your Will to look like - then send through all of your changes to legal@myfootprint.co.nz within 14 days of receiving your Will for review. Any further revisions will be charged a small fee.

4. Returning your Will

Footprint Member:

After your Will has been dated, signed and witnessed, please:

1. Scan and upload a copy into your Footprint Vault for safe keeping. This allows our legal drafters to check that it’s been signed correctly. We’ll send you confirmation once your Will is validated and ready to go.

2. Post the original copy of your Will (not a scanned version) to our sister company Perpetual Guardian for safekeeping (it’s free post!):

Free post Authority no. 256499
Footprint NZ Ltd
PO Box 90037, Victoria Street West, Auckland 1142,
NEW ZEALAND

Footprint Single Will Only (not a member of Footprint):

After your Will has been dated, signed and witnessed, please:

1. Scan a copy back to legal@myfootprint.co.nz so they can validate your Will (or catch any mistakes that could have been made).

2. Post the original copy of your Will (not a scanned version) to our sister company Perpetual Guardian for safekeeping (it’s free post!):

 

Free post Authority no. 256499
Footprint NZ Ltd
PO Box 90037, Victoria Street West, Auckland 1142,
NEW ZEALAND

If you have any questions or concerns, you can always give us a call on 0800 366 877.

How does Footprint work?

The way we do things is a little different from traditional Will providers. At Footprint we know that getting a Will is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to looking after the people you care about. What a lot of people don’t realise is that the estate administration that takes place after you pass away is one of the most expensive aspects of dealing with the instructions in your Will. You might be surprised to know that the average cost of estate administration in New Zealand is $10,000 - $12,000, which basically means, the more you pay in estate administration fees the less your beneficiaries (the people you are leaving your stuff to) get. It is also incredibly important to keep your Will up to date and to store it in a safe place others can’t access (but still know about - there's no point in getting a Will if no one can find it!)

Footprint is an entirely new way of taking care of your Will and Estate Administration and was designed to put choice back in your hands! For an annual subscription fee (which can be changed to monthly after year one) you can literally save thousands compared to traditional models.

Here’s what Footprint’s subscription has to offer:

  • An exclusive estate administration service, valued at $10,000+ 
    Reducing costs and stress for the people you care about
  • An online Will  (or a $50 discount off a Perpetual Guardian consult Will) 
    To help make sure all your assets (valuable stuff) go to the right people.
  • An annual online Will update (or a $50 discount off a Perpetual Guardian consult Will update) 
    Keeping your legal document valid and flexible, so everything stays up to date alongside any important life changes.
  • Access to a digital Vault 
    Where you can keep important documents, and information, as well as send important notifications.
  • An annual contribution to your selected charity 
    With our ‘Give and get back’ programme you’ll see your contribution grow each year alongside a community of others who have selected the same charity as you. You’ll also receive real time updates on the contributions you and your community are making in New Zealand or overseas.
  • Access to your personalised Information Hub 
    Here you’ll have access to your personalised information, content, and community contributions. You can share your impact on your social media to inspire or challenge others!
  • Access to service support 
    Phone, email, Skype.
  • Access to the Footprint Learning lab 
    Videos and infographics that tells you all you could ever want to know about estate planning.
  • Physical Storage of your original Will 
    Making sure your original Will is stored somewhere safe and secure for when it's needed.

To see how you much you could save by subscribing to Footprint, click here to head to our savings calculator.

 

What should I think about before getting a Will?

Here’s some prep before you jump in!

  1. Who you’d like to be the executor of your Will. 
  2. Who you’d like to be the guardian of any children under the age of 18 if you pass away?
  3. Whether there are specific gifts you want to give to any people or charities such as family heirlooms, your signed All Blacks Jersey, cash, etc. 
  4. Who you’d like the remainder of your estate to go to once your specific gifts have been made.

Am I too young to be thinking about Wills?

Having a Will is like writing the final chapter of your story. Without one, people won’t know what happens to everything you’ve worked your entire life towards. It gives you the perfect opportunity to say who gets what of your important stuff.  Whether you have something specific you’d like to give to your mother, father, best friend, partner or charity - a Will can outline any specific gift requests after you’re gone. It might seem cray cray to think of getting a Will now, but there is a vast history of people who are no longer with us that thought they still had plenty of time to get things sorted later. Getting a Will is only a little about us and more about the massive difference it makes to the people we leave behind.

The legal age to get a Will in New Zealand is 18 years young. Wills are not just for those with kids and a house - you also need a legal Will if you have a Kiwi Saver account worth over $15,000+.

Why the $15k you ask! Well, once something reaches a value of $15,000 it’s considered an asset by law. If you die without a Will, your family would have to apply to the courts to gain access to any of these funds/assets. Contrary to popular belief, your assets may not be automatically given to the person or people you consider to be the “obvious” choice. It goes without saying that applying to the courts will mean extra costs, time, and stress at a time when those closest to you could do without it.

Do I still need a Will if I don't have any children?

The short answer: YES

The slightly longer answer: Yessssssss!  A Will isn’t just about setting things up for your children after you’re gone – it’s also about getting the last word in! It could be as simple as stating you’d like to leave a hundred dollars to your favourite charity, and the rest of your estate to your parents. Or, you could divide everything between your best mates, or leaving that special something behind for your partner.  Whatever you choose, a Will gives you a voice when you’re no longer around.

What are my options for creating a Will?

To subscribe or not to subscribe, that is the question!

What a lot of people don’t realise is that estate administration taking place after you pass away is one of the most expensive aspects of dealing with the instructions in your Will. You might be surprised to know that the average cost of estate administration in New Zealand is $10,000 - $12,000 - which basically means the more you pay in estate administration fees the less your beneficiaries (the people you are leaving your stuff to) get. It’s also incredibly important to keep your Will up to date and to store it in a safe place others can’t access (but still know about - there is no point getting a Will if no one can find it!).

Footprint is an entirely new way of doing your Will and your estate administration, and was designed to put choice back in your hands! For an $85 annual subscription fee (this can be changed to monthly after year one) you can literally save thousands compared to traditional fee models.

Here’s what Footprint offers:
  • An exclusive estate administration package, valued at $10,000
  • An online Will (or a $50 discount off a Perpetual Guardian consult Will)
  • An annual online Will update(or a $50 discount off a Perpetual Guardian consult Will update)
  • Access to a digital Vault
  • An annual contribution to your selected charity - Give and get back progamme
  • Access to your personalised Information Hub
  • Access to service support
  • Access to the Footprint Learning lab
  • Physical storage of your original Will 
A single Will

We also provide the option of buying a single online Will. This doesn’t come with any additional benefits (such as digital storage or free updates), but it does let you to write your final chapter with us. Your Will. Your Story. It’s that simple.

Consultation Wills with Perpetual Guardian

If your Will requirements are ‘complex’, we can refer you to Perpetual Guardian, our estate planning partners for a personal consultation about your Will (Perpetual Guardian fees would apply). Footprint members receive a $50 discount of Perpetual Guardian consult Wills.

Click here to find out what other fees might your estate have to pay for.

Who should I appoint as an executor?

Your chosen executor is the superhero in the last chapter of your story. They are the ones who don their capes and take on a focused mission to carry out your final wishes. Your executor can be anyone who’s of sound mind and over the age of 18, whether they’re a family member, close friend, or a professional advisor such as Perpetual Guardian. With Footprint’s subscription membership, you can choose Perpetual Guardian to be your executor or pick a family member or friend. Either way your subscription includes an exclusive estate administration package that provides an executor support service or estate administration services. Terms and conditions apply; have a read here to learn more.

You can also click here to find out what happens when you appoint your own executor.

When do I need to change my Will?

Your life will have a lot of plot twists and new chapters, so it’s always good to stay aware of things that could have an effect on your Will. Keeping your Will up to date is super important. The last Will you signed, even if it’s many years old, is the one used by the court when you pass away. 

Here are a few examples of things that could have an effect on your Will:

  • If you get married, any Will you wrote before marriage will no longer be valid (unless it was written in contemplation of marriage).
  • Also, unless you have an official marriage dissolvent and you separate from your partner, your Will doesn’t change - which means your ex could be entitled to more than you’d want if you haven’t updated your Will.
  • If you buy a house (jointly or solely owned) it’s definitely worth getting a new Will. If you pass away while jointly owning any property, ownership of that property will automatically go to the other person whose name is on the title of that property. If you don’t own property jointly, and the title is under your name, you’ll need to specify if you’d like your property to be distributed with your remaining estate, or if you’d like to gift it to someone in particular.
  • If you have children, whether from an existing or a past relationship. If you don’t have a Will your estate will be distributed in accordance with the Family Protection Act. That’s means everything will be distributed to your next of kin, even if you haven’t been in contact with them for years, or you’re not on speaking terms.
  • Your Kiwi saver just went over $15k! (Well done by the way). Because this account is now classified as a legal asset (anything over $15,000 makes the asset list), you’ll need to think carefully where you would like these funds to go. A Will gives you the opportunity to gift these funds to the people you care about.
  • Other examples include winning lotto or inheriting mega bucks… if you’ve suddenly become your family’s ‘favourite’ child, you need to revisit or even update your Will.

Luckily, keeping your Will up to date is simple with Footprint. We’ll send you a reminder every 12 months with instructions on how to change your Will, so you can stay in tune with any new life changes.

What if an online Will isn't for me?

If the online environment isn't your Jam, or your situation is “complex” and requires personalised advice, we recommend you talk to our estate planning partners at Perpetual Guardian. They’ll be able to provide one-on-one advice for getting your Will sorted. You can find their details on this contact page.

Can my Will be challenged after my death?

Any Will, whether written using an online tool or by a lawyer, can be challenged by people who feel they have been treated unfairly in some way.  However, there are some actions that can put your Will at a greater risk of being challenged - so it pays to be aware of these. For example if you intend to:

  • Divide your assets unequally between your children; or,
  • Your family has tricky situations such as a relative suffering from addiction, or you want to disinherit a close family-member.

If you feel your circumstances are particularly ‘complicated’, we suggest you give us a call to discuss your situation.

Does my life insurance form part of my remaining estate?

This will depend on how your policy is written.  If you’ve named the beneficiary (the person who receives the funds when you die) in your policy, then your life insurance is paid directly to that person. However, if you haven’t named a beneficiary on your policy, the proceeds of your life insurance will form part of your remaining estate.

What is an Advisory Trustee?

An Advisory Trustee doesn’t have the same legal obligations, responsibilities and superhero status as your executor. However, they’re able to advise or be asked for input by your chosen executor on any decisions made in your Will so definitely earn the title of trusted sidekick! They can help deal with any personal assets such as jewellery, furniture, or things that have special significance. They can also give advice to the executor on how to deal with everything else. It is really important that your Advisory Trustee is someone that knows you well.

Can my executor also be a beneficiary in my Will?

The answer is yes, it’s legal to have an executor who’s also a beneficiary in your Will. But we think it’s a good idea to keep the beneficiaries of your estate and your executor separate - just in case your Will is challenged as it could be seen as a conflict of interest, but it’s totally your call.

What happens if the beneficiaries of my Will are under the age of 20 years old?

The legal age to receive any inheritance in New Zealand is 20 years old. If you leave anything to anyone under this age (for example any young grandchildren, or nieces and nephews) it’ll be held for them by the trustee of your Will. However, this money is still available before the age of 20 years for certain things like a child’s support or education etc.

Can my partner and I have one Will between us?

It’s a common misconception that only one Will needs to exist between two people (something called a ‘joint Will’). Within New Zealand your Will is seen as an individual list of wishes, meaning you and your partner will need to write a Will each, even if you have the same wishes. The upside is if you and your partner want the same things in your Wills, you can both write something called a mirror Will - this means that they are both totally identical (just like twins).  This also means that no matter who dies first, your beneficiaries remain the same.

What’s a Guardian?

Just like the guardian angels in your favourite story books, guardians in the real world are there to look after the well-being of any young children if something were to happen to their parents.  A guardian is only needed if both parents pass away, or if one parent passes away and the remaining parent isn’t capable of being a guardian. This important role can be appointed in your Will if you have any children under 18 years old. It often surprises people to learn that a guardian is not necessarily the person that has custody of your child.

A guardian appointed in a Will (also known as a testamentary guardian) can make key decisions such as: where your child lives, goes to school, or any changes to their name - but it doesn’t automatically mean they’re responsible for the day-to-day care (custody) of your children. If your chosen guardian would like to have permanent care of your children, then they can apply to the Family Court for a parenting order. For more info, check out the Care of Children At 2004.

What is an Interim Guardian?

An interim (or 'temporary') guardian is an individual that you (the Will writer) recommends (this is not legally binding) take temporary custody of your children if their legal custodian (the person responsible for their physical care and well-being) were temporarily unavailable, they may be overseas at the time of your passing, and your children need someone to look after them while they wait for their legal custodian to return. If your chosen or interim guardian would like to have permanent custody of your children, then they can apply to the Family Court for a parenting order. For more info, check out the Care of Children Act 2004.

What are Perpetual Guardian’s executor fees?

This depends on whether you’re a Footprint subscriber, or if you are only looking to purchase a single Will.

Footprint Members

If you’re a Footprint member, then your executor and estate administration fees are covered by our exclusive estate administration service valued at over $10,000+. (Terms and conditions apply; click here if you’re not familiar with our terms and conditions).

Single Will

If you’ve selected a single Will and intend to name Perpetual Guardian as executor, you can view a copy of their pricing structure by clicking here.

Can I leave Real Estate property to someone in my Will?

There are various scenarios that can play out when you’re gifting something as big as property, and all of them depend on whether that property is jointly or solely owned.

Jointly owned property:

If you own any property with another person or company (joint ownership), and you pass away, ownership of that property will automatically go to the other name/company listed on the title of that property.

Owned in shares:

Likewise, if a property is owned in Shares (Tenants in Common) then you can specify in your Will where your share will go.

However, if you leave any property to someone in your Will without knowing what’s on the title of that property, there’s no guarantee the wishes in your Will can be carried out. If you’re not entirely sure what's on the title of your property, we recommend you conduct a title search. This way your Will can work alongside your property the way you’d like it to.  Click here to do a title search through our partners www.searchthetitle.co.nz.

At Footprint we like advocating for the heroes of today. That’s why we’ve partnered up with 3 very special charities close to our hearts as part of our ‘Give and get back’ programme. When you become a Footprint member, you can choose which of the 3 charity communities you’d like to be a part of.  Your membership gives you access to your own Footprint Hub where you receive live updates on the positive impacts you and your chosen charity are having around the globe. Unfortunately you can’t choose a particular charity outside of the three we currently support in our ‘Give and get back’ programme. However, if you’d like to leave something special behind for another heroic cause close to your heart, you can always leave a gift behind for your favourite charity in your Will.

Every story has ups and downs, plot twists and new beginnings. We understand new life events have a big effect on your story, so as part of your membership with Footprint you can make one update to your Will annually without any additional cost - letting you keep on top of any important changes in your life. If you’ve updated your Will once already and would like to update it a second time that same year, there is the option to purchase a single online Will for $100 here. You can load this into your Vault alongside your other important documents at any time.

With Footprint, your membership fees are not prepaying your estate expenses.  We’re the same as your usual subscription models (kind of like Netflix), where you have access to all features and benefits while your membership is up to date. If you choose to cancel your membership, then at the end of your payment term *CAPOOF*, your access to all our features and benefits will stop – this includes the Estate Administration service.

We hoped you would ask that question!  This is one of the unique things about becoming a Footprint member. Whether you’ve chosen a family member or Perpetual Guardian (our authorised estate administration provider) to be your executor – we’ve still got you covered!

As a Footprint member your chosen executor has a choice whether to use the executor support service provided by Perpetual Guardian, or to go it alone. But, because we believe in transparency, we wanted to be upfront that if your executor elects not to use the service, then your estate will not be issued a refund on any membership fees.

Footprint chooses to work with New Zealand’s leading trustee company Perpetual Guardian. If your executor decides to use a different estate administration provider, any fees incurred through this provider will be charged to your estate, as your Footprint membership does not include payments to unauthorised providers. This means your estate may be liable for further fees, costs and disbursements incurred by your executor outside of your Footprint membership. For more information on what our executor support offers, check out our terms and conditions here.

Good question! Your Footprint subscription fees don’t include third party disbursements such as;

  • Improvements to your property if it’s being sold (improvements could be giving it a fresh lick of paint, or fixing the creaky porch step etc.).
  • Any costs associated with appointing a real estate agent, and any fees associated with selling your home.
  • Payments to third parties on your behalf (e.g. settling any debts, or paying for any funeral accounts etc.).
  • Protection of your property if it’s being sold (e.g. cost of insuring your home or any security for your property).
  • Specialist advice of third party professionals (this is if we need advice from professionals outside of our realm of expertise if we run into issues e.g. lawyers and accountants).
  • Any fees associated with obtaining probate.

Additionally, if your requirements are deemed “complex” additional charges will apply. The list below provides examples of “complex”:

  • Assets outside of New Zealand;
  • Assets given to beneficiaries that live outside of New Zealand;
  • An intestate estate;
  • An estate appointing co-executors;
  • A charitable trust, inheritance trust or a testamentary trust;
  • A life interest or right of occupancy in any properties of the estate; or
  • An estate which is challenged by your beneficiaries or potential beneficiaries.

Full details are laid out in the Footprint terms and conditions, click here to read more…

Your Footprint subscription entitles you to an annual update of your online Will. This service lets you make any changes that are supported by the Footprint platform .

If the changes you wish to make cannot be supported by the Footprint platform such as where the said change(s) requires legal advice and/or is likely to make your estate “complex”[1], we will recommend an appointment with a Perpetual Guardian adviser. You will receive a $50.00 discount off the additional charges that apply if this is required.

If you have elected to upload a Will drafted from a provider other than Footprint or Perpetual Guardian, Footprint is in no way responsible for the quality or accuracy of the contents or structure of this Will. Footprint annual updates are available to the subscriber however, only in the instance were the Footprint platform is being utilised. The $50 consult discount only applies to Perpetual Guardian Wills and not any other providers. Click here to read more about our terms and conditions.

[1] Refer to Footprint Service Exclusion, paragraph “b” for details.

Where Perpetual Guardian is not named as executor in your Will, Perpetual Guardian are able to support your executor by preparing documents and providing guidance and advice. Perpetual Guardian’s assistance will exclude completing any transmission(s), transfers or sale of property as Perpetual Guardian is prohibited from undertaking certain tasks with respect to an estate where Perpetual Guardian has not be appointed as executor. 

If your executor does not request Perpetual Guardian’s executor support, your estate will not be issued any refund of any subscription fees paid to Footprint and your estate may be liable for fees, costs and disbursements incurred by your executor. Click here to read more about our terms and conditions.

Once you’ve become a member of Footprint, payments for your membership will renew on the anniversary of your subscription date (the day your first payment was received – kind of like your subscription birthday). For the first year of membership your Footprint fees will be taken as an annual payment. From year two you can choose to pay your subscription in either annual (which will be the automatic default) or monthly payments! Wahoo!

If you change your credit card, it’s best practice to let us know before your membership comes up for renewal to ensure your payment goes through, and you retain access to all your Footprint membership benefits. Don’t stress if you forget to do this though, as we’ll send you a reminder before your next renewal date. This will include a request to let us know if your credit card details have changed. We'll also notify you if your payment doesn’t go through.

A special function included in your Footprint membership (and something we are rather proud of) is your ability to set up notifications for people who you’d like to notify of your membership to Footprint. Research showed us that over 39% of people didn’t know where their parent’s Wills were stored (crazy right!). We thought we’d change that by giving you access to push notifications that enable you to notify your beneficiaries,  your executor, or  anyone else of your Will’s existence and location (in your Footprint Vault).  These notifications won’t give anyone visual or physical access to your Will or your Vault, and you can choose to change these notification settings at any time.

First of all, if you‘ve notified the important people in your life of your Will’s existence and  whereabouts through the notifications function in your Vault, your loved ones should have no problem finding  where your Will is stored.

If you’ve selected Perpetual Guardian as executors for your Will, your family can contact them directly to discuss next steps. Perpetual Guardian runs checks every day to identify if an estate administration client has passed away - so if one of your close family members or friends don’t make direct contact with Perpetual Guardian, they will make contact with your family themselves.

If you’ve selected a personal friend or family member to be your executor, they’ll need to reach out to Perpetual Guardian directly to seek support for their executor duties. Once their identity has been confirmed they’ll have access to the executor support service provided by Perpetual Guardian.

Your membership and all that comes with it (an online Will, annual online Will updates, your digital Vault, access to a personalised Hub, charity contributions, and the exclusive estate administration service) is available while you continue to be a member of Footprint. Since it’s not a prepay system, your access to all of the features and benefits lasts as long as you choose to have a membership with Footprint (we hope it’s a long relationship).

When you first subscribe to Footprint, you pay an annual fee. From year two you can choose to pay this monthly, if that is your preference – it’s totally your choice.

With Footprint, your membership fees aren’t prepaying your estate administration expenses.  We’re the same as your usual subscription models (kind of like Netflix), where you have access to features and benefits while your membership is up to date. If you choose to cancel your membership with us, your access to the features and benefits also stops – this includes the exclusive Estate Administration service valued at $10,000+.

  • An exclusive estate administration service, valued at $10,000+ 
    Reducing costs and stress for the people you care about.
  • An online Will  (or a $50 discount off a Perpetual Guardian consult Will) 
    To help make sure all your assets (valuable stuff) go to the right people.
  • An annual online Will update (or a $50 discount off a Perpetual Guardian consult Will update) 
    Keeping your legal document valid and flexible, so everything stays up to date alongside any important life changes.
  • Access to a digital Vault 
    Where you can keep important documents, and information, as well as send important notifications.
  • An annual contribution to your selected charity 
    With our ‘Give and get back’ programme you’ll see your contribution grow each year alongside a community of others who have selected the same charity as you. You’ll also receive real time updates on the contributions you and your community are making in New Zealand or overseas.
  • Access to your personalised Information Hub 
    Here you’ll have access to your personalised information, content, and community contributions. You can share your impact on your social media to inspire or challenge others!
  • Access to service support 
    Phone, email, Skype.
  • Access to the Footprint Learning lab 
    Videos and infographics that tells you all you could ever want to know about estate planning.
  • Physical Storage of your original Will 
    Making sure your original Will is stored somewhere safe and secure for when it's needed.

It’s a neat idea, and might be something we’re already looking into. However Footprint’s subscription services don’t extend to Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) at this stage. If you’re looking for an EPA, you can purchase one separately here.  At Footprint we chose to work with one of New Zealand’s leading trustee companies, Perpetual Guardian. They will help you complete your EPA and make sure it works for you in the way you need it to.

You can cancel your membership to Footprint at any time - all we’ll need from you is an email notifying us of your cancellation. If you choose to cancel your membership part way through year one, or if you’ve chosen to pay monthly in year two and would like to cancel mid-month, no refunds will be provided. You do however still have full access to all benefits and features included in your membership until the end of the year (for year one), or the end of the month (year two monthly payments).  You can email us at info@myfootprint.co.nz to cancel at any time. For more info, check out our Footprint’s terms and conditions.

With Footprint, your membership fees are not prepaying your estate expenses.  We’re the same as your usual subscription models (kind of like Netflix), where you have access to all features and benefits while your membership is up to date. If you choose to cancel your membership, your access to all features and benefits also stops – this includes your Estate Administration, and access to your digital Vault and anything you’ve stored in it.  Not to worry, we’ll give you a full month to remove all your personal files and content from the vault before closing your account. For more info, check out our terms and conditions.

Simply put, if we receive notification of your cancellation, or non-payment of your membership fees, you’ll have one month to remove all your personal files and content from your vault before your account is closed. We won’t just spring this on you though! You’ll receive reminders from us on how to remove anything you have stored with us, and tips on how to securely store your Will without using our service. For more info, check out our terms and conditions.

Well… isn’t that something we've all asked ourselves...

But, if you’re referring to what happens to your stuff, or your executor, there we can help you. There are no written rules about who needs to contact who first after you pass away. If you‘ve named Perpetual Guardian as your executor, they’ll handle the details involved in administering your estate - this includes contacting next of kin, and sorting through all the legal aspects. For more info on what’s involved in administering an estate with your Footprint subscription, click here.

As your family usually knows of your passing before anyone else does, they can get in contact with Perpetual Guardian to get some help on next steps, and be provided with the peace of mind that they’re in good hands. If you choose a family member or friend to be your executor, and they’d like to utilise Perpetual Guardian’s executor support service, they’ll need to get in touch with Perpetual Guardian directly. For more info on Perpetual Guardian’s executor support, check out our terms and conditions. Once they’ve provided proof of their identity, a meeting will be set-up to discuss next steps

By ticking the acknowledgement section on the last page of your Will instructions, you are declaring that you understand and agree to Footprint authorised staff members having access to your Will and the section in your vault where it is stored. To clarify Footprint authorised staff are only able to see that your Will is stored correctly in your vault and any system errors. The Will drafter does receive a copy of the Will once you have submitted it to us for final drafting, once complete a copy of your Will is loaded into the Will section of your vault. You’re the only person with full access to your Vault during your membership, meaning we won’t have access to any other personal files or content. When you pass away, your chosen executor will be given access to administer your estate (aka distributing all your personal belongings, paying any bills, applying for probate etc.). In this way your Vault is treated the same as any other part of your estate.

So glad you asked! Did you know your Vault is not only there for you to store your Will? It’s also been designed to hold files you want your executor to have access to when you pass away. This could include, receipts, insurance policies, bank account information, special photos or video messages you want to leave to the people most important to you. Your Vault also allows you to set up push notifications that notify your beneficiaries, your executor, or anyone else of your Will’s existence and location (stored in your Vault). These notifications won’t give anyone visual or physical access to your Will or your Vault, and you can choose to change these notification settings at any time.

With your Will all written and checked, all that’s left to do is sign and witness it. This particular step is important to get right - something as small as a poorly placed scribble could put your Will in danger of being contested. Here’s a quick checklist of things to consider before signing:

  • Make sure your Will is printed single-sided.
  • Make sure to double check everything in your Will.
  • Make sure you sign your Will in blue or black pen.
  • Do you have two witnesses for your Will there with you?
  • Are those witnesses older than 18 years of age, and cannot be named in your Will (e.g. any beneficiaries in your Will - partner, children, guardian etc).
  • Make sure not to staple your Will at any point (re-stapling could make it invalid).
  • Make sure not to pin or attach anything else to your Will at any point.

Now that you’ve got everything ready and in place for signing and witnessing, here’s what you’ll need to do next:

1. Dating your Will

On your Will there’s a section where you write the date. This needs to be the same date your Will was signed and witnessed. Make sure to do this correctly - for example:

DATED this 1st day of January 2018.

2. Signing and witnessing your Will

Sign your Will in blue or black pen on the last page where it can be clearly seen, and initial each of the other pages as well – make sure to do this in front of your two witnesses.

Both your witnesses should initial each page and sign on the last page in the presence of each other. They should also add their occupations and addresses in the section provided on the final page. I'f you're not too sure how to do this, checkout out instruction video by clicking here.

3. Making changes to your Will

After submitting your Will using our online system, our legal drafters will send you a copy for your final review. If you feel your Will isn’t quite right and want to change something, we’ve given you one free Will revision. We recommend you take some time to sit down and really examine what you’d like your Will to look like - then send through all of your changes to legal@myfootprint.co.nz within 14 days of receiving your Will for review. Any further revisions will be charged a small fee.

4. Returning your Will

Footprint Member:

After your Will has been dated, signed and witnessed, please:

1. Scan and upload a copy into your Footprint Vault for safe keeping. This allows our legal drafters to check that it’s been signed correctly. We’ll send you confirmation once your Will is validated and ready to go.

2. Post the original copy of your Will (not a scanned version) to our sister company Perpetual Guardian for safekeeping (it’s free post!):

Free post Authority no. 256499
Footprint NZ Ltd
PO Box 90037, Victoria Street West, Auckland 1142,
NEW ZEALAND

Footprint Single Will Only (not a member of Footprint):

After your Will has been dated, signed and witnessed, please:

1. Scan a copy back to legal@myfootprint.co.nz so they can validate your Will (or catch any mistakes that could have been made).

2. Post the original copy of your Will (not a scanned version) to our sister company Perpetual Guardian for safekeeping (it’s free post!):

 

Free post Authority no. 256499
Footprint NZ Ltd
PO Box 90037, Victoria Street West, Auckland 1142,
NEW ZEALAND

If you have any questions or concerns, you can always give us a call on 0800 366 877.

The way we do things is a little different from traditional Will providers. At Footprint we know that getting a Will is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to looking after the people you care about. What a lot of people don’t realise is that the estate administration that takes place after you pass away is one of the most expensive aspects of dealing with the instructions in your Will. You might be surprised to know that the average cost of estate administration in New Zealand is $10,000 - $12,000, which basically means, the more you pay in estate administration fees the less your beneficiaries (the people you are leaving your stuff to) get. It is also incredibly important to keep your Will up to date and to store it in a safe place others can’t access (but still know about - there's no point in getting a Will if no one can find it!)

Footprint is an entirely new way of taking care of your Will and Estate Administration and was designed to put choice back in your hands! For an annual subscription fee (which can be changed to monthly after year one) you can literally save thousands compared to traditional models.

Here’s what Footprint’s subscription has to offer:

  • An exclusive estate administration service, valued at $10,000+ 
    Reducing costs and stress for the people you care about
  • An online Will  (or a $50 discount off a Perpetual Guardian consult Will) 
    To help make sure all your assets (valuable stuff) go to the right people.
  • An annual online Will update (or a $50 discount off a Perpetual Guardian consult Will update) 
    Keeping your legal document valid and flexible, so everything stays up to date alongside any important life changes.
  • Access to a digital Vault 
    Where you can keep important documents, and information, as well as send important notifications.
  • An annual contribution to your selected charity 
    With our ‘Give and get back’ programme you’ll see your contribution grow each year alongside a community of others who have selected the same charity as you. You’ll also receive real time updates on the contributions you and your community are making in New Zealand or overseas.
  • Access to your personalised Information Hub 
    Here you’ll have access to your personalised information, content, and community contributions. You can share your impact on your social media to inspire or challenge others!
  • Access to service support 
    Phone, email, Skype.
  • Access to the Footprint Learning lab 
    Videos and infographics that tells you all you could ever want to know about estate planning.
  • Physical Storage of your original Will 
    Making sure your original Will is stored somewhere safe and secure for when it's needed.

To see how you much you could save by subscribing to Footprint, click here to head to our savings calculator.

 

Here’s some prep before you jump in!

  1. Who you’d like to be the executor of your Will. 
  2. Who you’d like to be the guardian of any children under the age of 18 if you pass away?
  3. Whether there are specific gifts you want to give to any people or charities such as family heirlooms, your signed All Blacks Jersey, cash, etc. 
  4. Who you’d like the remainder of your estate to go to once your specific gifts have been made.

Having a Will is like writing the final chapter of your story. Without one, people won’t know what happens to everything you’ve worked your entire life towards. It gives you the perfect opportunity to say who gets what of your important stuff.  Whether you have something specific you’d like to give to your mother, father, best friend, partner or charity - a Will can outline any specific gift requests after you’re gone. It might seem cray cray to think of getting a Will now, but there is a vast history of people who are no longer with us that thought they still had plenty of time to get things sorted later. Getting a Will is only a little about us and more about the massive difference it makes to the people we leave behind.

The legal age to get a Will in New Zealand is 18 years young. Wills are not just for those with kids and a house - you also need a legal Will if you have a Kiwi Saver account worth over $15,000+.

Why the $15k you ask! Well, once something reaches a value of $15,000 it’s considered an asset by law. If you die without a Will, your family would have to apply to the courts to gain access to any of these funds/assets. Contrary to popular belief, your assets may not be automatically given to the person or people you consider to be the “obvious” choice. It goes without saying that applying to the courts will mean extra costs, time, and stress at a time when those closest to you could do without it.

The short answer: YES

The slightly longer answer: Yessssssss!  A Will isn’t just about setting things up for your children after you’re gone – it’s also about getting the last word in! It could be as simple as stating you’d like to leave a hundred dollars to your favourite charity, and the rest of your estate to your parents. Or, you could divide everything between your best mates, or leaving that special something behind for your partner.  Whatever you choose, a Will gives you a voice when you’re no longer around.

To subscribe or not to subscribe, that is the question!

What a lot of people don’t realise is that estate administration taking place after you pass away is one of the most expensive aspects of dealing with the instructions in your Will. You might be surprised to know that the average cost of estate administration in New Zealand is $10,000 - $12,000 - which basically means the more you pay in estate administration fees the less your beneficiaries (the people you are leaving your stuff to) get. It’s also incredibly important to keep your Will up to date and to store it in a safe place others can’t access (but still know about - there is no point getting a Will if no one can find it!).

Footprint is an entirely new way of doing your Will and your estate administration, and was designed to put choice back in your hands! For an $85 annual subscription fee (this can be changed to monthly after year one) you can literally save thousands compared to traditional fee models.

Here’s what Footprint offers:
  • An exclusive estate administration package, valued at $10,000
  • An online Will (or a $50 discount off a Perpetual Guardian consult Will)
  • An annual online Will update(or a $50 discount off a Perpetual Guardian consult Will update)
  • Access to a digital Vault
  • An annual contribution to your selected charity - Give and get back progamme
  • Access to your personalised Information Hub
  • Access to service support
  • Access to the Footprint Learning lab
  • Physical storage of your original Will 
A single Will

We also provide the option of buying a single online Will. This doesn’t come with any additional benefits (such as digital storage or free updates), but it does let you to write your final chapter with us. Your Will. Your Story. It’s that simple.

Consultation Wills with Perpetual Guardian

If your Will requirements are ‘complex’, we can refer you to Perpetual Guardian, our estate planning partners for a personal consultation about your Will (Perpetual Guardian fees would apply). Footprint members receive a $50 discount of Perpetual Guardian consult Wills.

Click here to find out what other fees might your estate have to pay for.

Your chosen executor is the superhero in the last chapter of your story. They are the ones who don their capes and take on a focused mission to carry out your final wishes. Your executor can be anyone who’s of sound mind and over the age of 18, whether they’re a family member, close friend, or a professional advisor such as Perpetual Guardian. With Footprint’s subscription membership, you can choose Perpetual Guardian to be your executor or pick a family member or friend. Either way your subscription includes an exclusive estate administration package that provides an executor support service or estate administration services. Terms and conditions apply; have a read here to learn more.

You can also click here to find out what happens when you appoint your own executor.

Your life will have a lot of plot twists and new chapters, so it’s always good to stay aware of things that could have an effect on your Will. Keeping your Will up to date is super important. The last Will you signed, even if it’s many years old, is the one used by the court when you pass away. 

Here are a few examples of things that could have an effect on your Will:

  • If you get married, any Will you wrote before marriage will no longer be valid (unless it was written in contemplation of marriage).
  • Also, unless you have an official marriage dissolvent and you separate from your partner, your Will doesn’t change - which means your ex could be entitled to more than you’d want if you haven’t updated your Will.
  • If you buy a house (jointly or solely owned) it’s definitely worth getting a new Will. If you pass away while jointly owning any property, ownership of that property will automatically go to the other person whose name is on the title of that property. If you don’t own property jointly, and the title is under your name, you’ll need to specify if you’d like your property to be distributed with your remaining estate, or if you’d like to gift it to someone in particular.
  • If you have children, whether from an existing or a past relationship. If you don’t have a Will your estate will be distributed in accordance with the Family Protection Act. That’s means everything will be distributed to your next of kin, even if you haven’t been in contact with them for years, or you’re not on speaking terms.
  • Your Kiwi saver just went over $15k! (Well done by the way). Because this account is now classified as a legal asset (anything over $15,000 makes the asset list), you’ll need to think carefully where you would like these funds to go. A Will gives you the opportunity to gift these funds to the people you care about.
  • Other examples include winning lotto or inheriting mega bucks… if you’ve suddenly become your family’s ‘favourite’ child, you need to revisit or even update your Will.

Luckily, keeping your Will up to date is simple with Footprint. We’ll send you a reminder every 12 months with instructions on how to change your Will, so you can stay in tune with any new life changes.

If the online environment isn't your Jam, or your situation is “complex” and requires personalised advice, we recommend you talk to our estate planning partners at Perpetual Guardian. They’ll be able to provide one-on-one advice for getting your Will sorted. You can find their details on this contact page.

Any Will, whether written using an online tool or by a lawyer, can be challenged by people who feel they have been treated unfairly in some way.  However, there are some actions that can put your Will at a greater risk of being challenged - so it pays to be aware of these. For example if you intend to:

  • Divide your assets unequally between your children; or,
  • Your family has tricky situations such as a relative suffering from addiction, or you want to disinherit a close family-member.

If you feel your circumstances are particularly ‘complicated’, we suggest you give us a call to discuss your situation.

This will depend on how your policy is written.  If you’ve named the beneficiary (the person who receives the funds when you die) in your policy, then your life insurance is paid directly to that person. However, if you haven’t named a beneficiary on your policy, the proceeds of your life insurance will form part of your remaining estate.

An Advisory Trustee doesn’t have the same legal obligations, responsibilities and superhero status as your executor. However, they’re able to advise or be asked for input by your chosen executor on any decisions made in your Will so definitely earn the title of trusted sidekick! They can help deal with any personal assets such as jewellery, furniture, or things that have special significance. They can also give advice to the executor on how to deal with everything else. It is really important that your Advisory Trustee is someone that knows you well.

The answer is yes, it’s legal to have an executor who’s also a beneficiary in your Will. But we think it’s a good idea to keep the beneficiaries of your estate and your executor separate - just in case your Will is challenged as it could be seen as a conflict of interest, but it’s totally your call.

The legal age to receive any inheritance in New Zealand is 20 years old. If you leave anything to anyone under this age (for example any young grandchildren, or nieces and nephews) it’ll be held for them by the trustee of your Will. However, this money is still available before the age of 20 years for certain things like a child’s support or education etc.

It’s a common misconception that only one Will needs to exist between two people (something called a ‘joint Will’). Within New Zealand your Will is seen as an individual list of wishes, meaning you and your partner will need to write a Will each, even if you have the same wishes. The upside is if you and your partner want the same things in your Wills, you can both write something called a mirror Will - this means that they are both totally identical (just like twins).  This also means that no matter who dies first, your beneficiaries remain the same.

Just like the guardian angels in your favourite story books, guardians in the real world are there to look after the well-being of any young children if something were to happen to their parents.  A guardian is only needed if both parents pass away, or if one parent passes away and the remaining parent isn’t capable of being a guardian. This important role can be appointed in your Will if you have any children under 18 years old. It often surprises people to learn that a guardian is not necessarily the person that has custody of your child.

A guardian appointed in a Will (also known as a testamentary guardian) can make key decisions such as: where your child lives, goes to school, or any changes to their name - but it doesn’t automatically mean they’re responsible for the day-to-day care (custody) of your children. If your chosen guardian would like to have permanent care of your children, then they can apply to the Family Court for a parenting order. For more info, check out the Care of Children At 2004.

An interim (or 'temporary') guardian is an individual that you (the Will writer) recommends (this is not legally binding) take temporary custody of your children if their legal custodian (the person responsible for their physical care and well-being) were temporarily unavailable, they may be overseas at the time of your passing, and your children need someone to look after them while they wait for their legal custodian to return. If your chosen or interim guardian would like to have permanent custody of your children, then they can apply to the Family Court for a parenting order. For more info, check out the Care of Children Act 2004.

This depends on whether you’re a Footprint subscriber, or if you are only looking to purchase a single Will.

Footprint Members

If you’re a Footprint member, then your executor and estate administration fees are covered by our exclusive estate administration service valued at over $10,000+. (Terms and conditions apply; click here if you’re not familiar with our terms and conditions).

Single Will

If you’ve selected a single Will and intend to name Perpetual Guardian as executor, you can view a copy of their pricing structure by clicking here.

There are various scenarios that can play out when you’re gifting something as big as property, and all of them depend on whether that property is jointly or solely owned.

Jointly owned property:

If you own any property with another person or company (joint ownership), and you pass away, ownership of that property will automatically go to the other name/company listed on the title of that property.

Owned in shares:

Likewise, if a property is owned in Shares (Tenants in Common) then you can specify in your Will where your share will go.

However, if you leave any property to someone in your Will without knowing what’s on the title of that property, there’s no guarantee the wishes in your Will can be carried out. If you’re not entirely sure what's on the title of your property, we recommend you conduct a title search. This way your Will can work alongside your property the way you’d like it to.  Click here to do a title search through our partners www.searchthetitle.co.nz.

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