Where there’s a Will there’s a Way: New Zealand taking steps to legally manage COVID
The past few weeks have seen countries react in different ways to the usually simple act of making a will. What has become obvious is that those seeking to put in place a new will or looking to change existing wills may be unable to sign in the presence of a witness. This requirement is imposed by statute in many jurisdictions, including New Zealand, which requires two witnesses to be together in the presence of the maker of the will.
For those living alone or living with a spouse and family members who are likely to benefit under the will, third parties may need to be called in to act as witness thereby breaching the new norm of social distancing.
New Zealand has recently become one of the first countries to make a change to the way individuals are able to execute wills in the presence of witnesses, modifying the requirements imposed by the New Zealand Wills Act 2007. The changes will allow social distancing rules to be complied with, without putting the vulnerable at risk due to legal formalities.
As a result, from 17th April 2020, New Zealand wills can be signed and witnessed where others are present using audio-visual links. The impact of this is that a testator is able to sign in the presence of two witnesses who may witness the signature via an audio-visual link as long as it is made clear on the copy of the document that it is signed in this manner using certain language.
New Zealand has legislation – the Epidemic Preparedness Act 2006 - which can be used by the government in times of crisis, and it was this that allowed New Zealand to react very quickly and relax its statutory requirements. Importantly, the changes implemented in relation to the execution of wills are only temporary, and will be revoked when notices issued pursuant to the primary legislation expire or are themselves revoked. These changes however should be viewed as good news to both clients and advisors alike, and the fact that two witnesses are unable to be physically present when the will maker is signing will no longer impede the making of wills under New Zealand law.
Charity Training: Digital Transformation in the Charity Sector (Session 2)
We would be delighted if you could join us for the second session in our new series of bite-size webinars for charities.
Recent Trends In Firewall Legislation: BVI, Bermuda And Gibraltar
Charles Russell Speechlys promotes five to Partner
The promotions are effective 1 May 2021 and are accompanied by one Legal Director and 15 Senior Associate promotions.
Charles Russell Speechlys boosts private wealth offering with the hire of an international tax team
Robert Reymond will be joined at the firm by Leigh Nicoll, Emma Tyrrell and Oliver Cooper.
eprivateclient and Citywealth report on the hire of a new international tax team led by Robert Reymond
The firm strengthened its international wealth structuring capabilities with the hire of an international tax team led by Robert Reymond.
Charity Training Webinar Series: Brand Protection (Session 1)
We would be delighted if you could join us for the first in our new series of bite-size webinars for charities.
The Lugano convention – the journey continues
The UK’s departure from the European Union has had the effect of leaving the UK outside of the Lugano Convention of 2007.
Asian Legal Business, Hubbis and eprivateclient report on the firm's expansion in Hong Kong
The firm's Hong Kong office continues to expand with the relocation of Real Estate Partner Simon Green to lead the firm’s focus in Asia.
Charles Russell Speechlys advises Fudco Partnership on sale to Exponent-backed Vibrant Foods
Fudco is a family-owned business selling South Asian ethnic foods in UK and Europe.
Electrical safety standards in the private rented sector from 1 April 2021
The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector will apply to existing specified tenancies from 1 April 2021.
Property Patter: cohabitees and property rights - what do couples need to think about?
It is easy to drift into complicated territory when it comes to property arrangements between a couple
Ray Ng, Robert Avis and Tom Watts write for IFC Review on recent trends in firewall legislation
Ray, Robert and Tom review recent developments in firewall provisions in BVI, Bermuda and Gibraltar.
Charles Russell Speechlys LLP continues Hong Kong growth with the relocation of Real Estate Partner
We are delighted to continue the growth of our Hong Kong offering with the relocation of Simon Green to lead the firm’s focus in Asia.
Hugh Gunson and Guy Bud write for Taxation on Financial institution notices
Amendments will be made to allow HMRC to request information for the purposes of collecting a taxpayer’s tax debt.
Hayley Lalsing and Laura Sheftel write for Property Law Journal on the Electrical Safety Standards in the private rented sector
The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector Regulations 2020 will apply to existing specified tenancies from 1 April 2021.
Patrick Gearon FCIArb
Insolvency Legislation in the GCC
The interesting times of the last 14 months were preceded by the interesting times of the financial crisis of 2008/2009.
EWS1 Forms - the latest episode
RICS have now published their highly anticipated guidance on when EWS1 forms will be required.
Knight Frank Wealth Report: The Global Perspective on Prime Property & Investment
Knight Frank partners joined Charles Russell Speechlys for a virtual panel-led discussion on the Knight Frank Wealth Report
Jeffrey Lee, Jessica Leung and Jessica Chow featured in Legal 500's Hong Kong Private Client Q&A
The Q&A provides an overview of Private Client laws and regulations applicable in Hong Kong.
Jeffrey Lee, Jessica Leung and Jessica Chow write for the ICLG chapter on Hong Kong's private client laws and regulations
The team have contributed to ICLG's cross-border insight into private client work.