Our website uses  cookies for statistical purposes.

Our Articles

Making a Will in New Zealand

Making a Will in New Zealand

Making a will in NZ is possible for individuals over the age of 18 who are sound of mind, and even for those who are under this age (and sound of mind), but only in certain cases.

Wills in New Zealand are governed by the Wills Act of 2007. It is possible, however, that wills executed before 2007 to be subject to some earlier laws. If you are interested in wills in NZ, and have questions about your options, and how you should begin, our lawyers in New Zealand are ready to assist you.

The purpose of using a will is to provide explicit instructions on how your assets should be treated once you pass away. Our will lawyers in New Zealand can help you draft this document or, as needed, cancel an earlier document drafted for the same purpose.

Conditions for a valid will in NZ

Our New Zealand lawyers briefly outline the most important conditions for a will:

  • the document must be in writing;
  • wills in NZ must be signed by the individual, and by two witnesses; all three need to be present for the signing;
  • the will must be drafted and completed while the person still has the legal capacity to do so;
  • in some cases, even when wills in New Zealand do not meet all of the needed criteria for validity, the courts can state that it is valid.

A court can consider a will valid even if it does not meet all the criteria (for example, you only have one witness) if the judge considers that the document is more than likely to express the will-maker’s wishes.

Although it is possible to make wills online in NZ, we suggest that you schedule a meeting with our New Zealand law firm as possible, so that you may discuss all of your options with one of our lawyers. We remind you that even if you opt for a package that offers wills online in NZ, you will still need to sign the document personally.

Estimated costs for drafting a will

Some of the commonly asked questions received by our attorneys in New Zealand concern the costs for these types of documents.

One scenario is for the cost of making a will in NZ, which can start at $350, but can also involve other costs. Another different situation is the cost of contesting a will in NZ. In this case, the application to challenge the will is free, however, you should expect a review fee for your situation.

Working with our team of will lawyers in New Zealand will allow you to opt for the type of document that suits your needs. We offer basic wills, as well as services that are related to updating an existing will, which was drafted before you contacted our team.

Making changes to wills in New Zealand

A will is a document that can be updated during the lifetime of the will-maker if this is in line with his or her wishes. The same person who made the will can also revoke it, or he/she can simply choose to implement certain changes.

It is possible to revoke a will or to make changes to it, as long as you remain of sound mind.

According to data from the Public Trust, New Zealanders are keen on writing their will. Our lawyers present the following interesting data:

  • almost 50% of New Zealanders over the age of 18 have a will;
  • 71% of the people interviewed in a research conducted by the Public Trust revealed that they gain an emotional benefit from leaving a legacy;
  • 51% of the people claimed that they received a financial benefit from a legacy.

If you have questions related to the taxes for your estate, please reach out to our accountants in New Zealand. They will be able to answer your questions.

You can contact our law firm in New Zealand whenever you feel ready to discuss the most suitable way in which your estate will be distributed.