Wills & Estate in New Zealand 新西兰遗嘱及遗产法【原创】

2018-04-03T21:21:59+00:00

What is a Will?

什么是遗嘱?

 

A Will is an ambulatory document – a legal document that you may amend as many times as you wish during your lifetime as things change. It takes effect only after your death. A Will is your financial deposition to your love ones and a set of instructions on how your assets are to be distributed and as well as directions on funeral & burial matters.

遗嘱是一份具有活动性的文件,在您有生之年可以随着您个人情况的改变而被更改的法律文件,并于您去世的时候才生效。一份遗嘱是您给您所爱的人的经济给予、也是一份如何处理您的遗产及身后事的指令。

 

Why do we need a will?

我们为什么需要订立遗嘱?

 

Our future is uncertain, so we need to plan ahead.  A Will is your set of instructions for the future – it saves your loved ones time, energy and costs as they attend to matters concerning your estate after you passed away.

世事难料,因此我们需要为将来作准备。一份遗嘱可以给予您所爱的人明确的指令让他们处理您的身后事时省掉不少的时间、精神及金钱。

Who may claim under your will?

有谁可能在您的遗嘱下要求得到财产?

 

Whilst the common law position is that a testator has testamentary freedom in how he or she wants to part with her assets after death, this freedom is somehow restricted in New Zealand.

虽然普通法的立场是立遗嘱的人有自主权定立遗嘱的内容、即是可以透过拟定遗嘱随意分配个人财产。可是在新西兰这种自由是受限制的。

 

New Zealand law provides that a Will shall provide for your spouse, de facto spouse, family members and dependants. A person who has not been mentioned in your Will may also have the right to claim against your estate. The relevant legislations are:

新西兰法律规定立遗嘱人必须向其配偶,事实夫妻,家庭成员及受抚养人给予济助。正因如此,没有在遗嘱里提及到的人也许也有权力向立遗嘱人的遗产要求经济给予。以下是相关的新西兰法案:

 

  • Properties (Relationships) Act 1976 (Providing for the de facto partner or spouse)

财产(关系)法案1976 (对配偶或事实夫妻提供经济给予)

  • Family Protection Act 1955 (Providing for the Immediate Family)

家庭保护法案1955 (对直系亲属提供经济给予)

  • Law Reform (Testamentary Promises) Act 1949 (Providing for any persons who have been given an express or implied promise by the decease that his or her service would be remunerated, who had rendered service to or performance for the deceased in his lifetime but did not receive the reward before the deceased’s death)

法律改革(遗嘱承诺)法案1949 (对此种人士提供经济给予: 任何人士在死者生前曾向死者提供服务,而死者又曾明示或默示提供服务者将得到报酬,但提供服务者在死者去世前并没有得到答应的报酬)

 

I already have a will in China, is it easily recognised in NZ?

我在国内已经有一份遗嘱了,在新西兰被承认吗?

 

The law on Wills is specific to each jurisdiction. There are specific formality requirements for a Will to be legally recognised in New Zealand. Wills drafted overseas may or not may comply with local requirements. If they do not comply with the local requirements then they may not be recognised by the New Zealand Courts. Moreover, even if a Will complies with local laws, if it is drafted overseas there may still a need to go through the process of proving the Will in a New Zealand court. In order to save time, costs and hassle, you may want to have a Will drafted here for local use.

每一个地方的遗嘱法都不同,而每一个法律管辖区对遗嘱的法律效力可能也有特定的格式要求。于新西兰境外所拟定的遗嘱不一定符合本地的法律要求、所以不一定于新西兰境内被承认。即使一份于别的国家签署的遗嘱符合新西兰的法律要求,若需要在新西兰使用,也可能需要通过繁琐的法院审批过程。为了节省时间、金钱及麻烦,倒不如在新西兰拟定于本地使用的遗嘱。

What if I don’t have a will?

如果我没有拟定遗嘱那怎么办呢?

 

If you die without a will, your estate will be distributed according to the Wills Administration Act 1969. A Letters of Administration will be obtained and your assets be distributed pursuant to an order of the High Court of New Zealand. Individuals (usually family members such as spouse, de facto partner, children or parents of the deceased) may apply to court to be the deceased’s administrator. Generally speaking, if a person dies without any parent or child, the living de facto partner or spouse of the deceased takes everything. However, if the deceased dies with living children and de facto partner/spouse, the de facto partner/spouse would only take one-third of the estate and the living children takes two-thirds. If you do not have a will, unnecessary costs will be incurred and time wasted by your family members as they have to apply to court to be your administrator.

若一人去世时在没有拟定遗嘱,他的遗产将根据遗产执行法案1969内的规定,依新西兰高等法院批准的遗产执行书进行分配。 个人(通常是家庭人员如配偶、事实夫妻、孩童或死者的父母)可向法院申请为死者的遗产执行人。通常,若死者去世的时候没有任何在世的父母或儿女而仅有在世的配偶 或事实夫妻,其在世的配偶将获得全部的遗产。然而,若死者去世时有在世的儿女及配偶或事实夫妻,其配偶或事实夫妻只能获得三分之一的遗产、三分之二则归儿女所有。若您没有拟定遗嘱,您的家人需要在向法院申请当您的遗产执行人处理您身后事时招致非必要的时间和金钱。

 

When should I have a new will?

我该什么时候需要订立新遗嘱呢?

 

You should change your Will whenever you have gone through a major change in your life, for example, if you got married or divorced, bought a property or if a person named in your Will as executor and/or beneficiary has died, or it may also be that there is a major change in your financial position. There are also situations when you must draft a new Will, i.e. when your old one has been revoked. To err on the safe side, we recommend you review your existing Will with us every five years. The law can be complex in this area and we urge you to take professional legal advice and Focus Law is here to help you to draft or renew your Will.

当您生命经过重大变化的时候,比方说您结婚或离婚了,买了房子,或您的遗嘱里所列的遗嘱执行人及/或受益人去世了,又或者是您的经济处境上出现了一些重大的改变,您是应该拟定新的遗嘱的。有些情况下您是必须重新拟定遗嘱的(如,旧遗嘱已经无效了)。新西兰的遗嘱法可以是很复杂的。我们建议您在拟定或更改您的遗嘱前先寻求专业法律意见。 Focus Law的专业律师团队可以帮助您拟定或更新您的遗嘱。

 

Please note that this article is intended for general use. It does not constitute legal advice. If you wish to obtain further relevant information on this topic, please contact our professional team at Focus Law.

请注意本文只为读者提供一般信息。在这篇文章中所包含的内容不构成法律意见。如需获得更多的相关信息,请联系Focus Law律师事务所的专业法律团队。我们很乐意为您服务。