Once again New Zealand is back in Alert Level 4 conditions and no matter how prepared we may have been there are still matters that arise unexpectedly. The good news is that here at Beach Law Papamoa our team was organised for the event of lockdown. Our team has remote access to all our systems from our home offices and it was a seamless transition to working from home this time around. Settlements continued to be completed without a hitch in the first few days.
Here is a rundown of what we can still assist you with during lockdown. It may surprise you that most legal work we undertake can still be completed if you have access to video conferencing technology.
Yes, it is still possible to complete the financial and legal parts of property settlements during the lockdown. However, under Level 4 it is not possible to physically move between properties. In cases where settlements relate to a section or perhaps an investment property where no one is moving house, we can still go ahead as planned. At this time the change to Level 3 will see people able to move and settlements completed (unless the status of Level 3 is changed from the last lockdown). After the last lockdown, most agreements have made provision for this delay and there is a procedure to follow for deferring settlement.
It is definitely possible to complete a refinance as no one is moving house. With the Official Cash Rate being held at its current record-breaking low while we are in lockdown it might be the perfect opportunity to move bank while you have time to work through the inevitable paperwork associated with moving your bank accounts. All major banks are still working at home right through lockdown so it is “business as usual” for refinancing matters.
With the last lockdown, the Governments passed a change in the Wills Act that now allows us to have Wills signed by video conference. Wills are often something that are put in the “too hard basket” or people simply don’t want to think about them. However, having a Will can certainly make things easier for your loved ones if the worst were to happen. Whether you are having an urgent need for a Will due to illness or simply want to use your time to check this off your to-do list please get in touch.
Enduring Powers of Attorney
As with Wills, it is possible for Enduring Powers of Attorney to be signed using video technology. Although many of us have Enduring Powers of Attorney as a type of insurance policy there will be times when time is of the essence, such as if someone is ill, undergoing major surgery or has early stages of dementia. Rather than waiting until after lockdown and missing the opportunity to have an Enduring Power of Attorney put in place in these situations please contact us for immediate help.
Relationship Property Agreements
It is also possible to sign an agreement relating to separation or a contracting out agreement provided extra clauses are added into those agreements. As long as no one is physically moving house any settlement associated with these agreements can also be completed.
We are still available to help with all your queries and concerns about all other matters including trusts, estates and retirement villages. There will be some delays with new estates due to the Court being closed during Level 4 and not processing probate applications. However, we can still assist you with getting the ball rolling and, in most cases, getting any funeral account paid for.
Please give us a call on our main office number 07 281 1459 or contact one of our friendly team directly on their email.