My mother died this week. She wrote a will but it was never lodged with a lawyer and my stepdad can't find it. Is there

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Customer: my mother died this week. She wrote a will but it was never lodged with a lawyer and my stepdad can't find it. Is there any point for us to search for the copy? If not who can apply to the High court of letters of administration.
JA: Since estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Papatoetoe. Auckland NZ. Are you in NZ?
JA: What documents or supporting evidence do you have?
Customer: None. She was in the early stages of dementia. I went to see her on Sundays but i thought I had plenty of time. I then had a stroke and my sister had to handle her rest home care. My sister does not have a good relationship with my stepdad.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: The house is in my mother's name. She married my stepdad late in life, we understand the house would go to him and have accepted that fact but he had kids of his own and we want the house to go to us if he dies or has to leave due to ill health,
Answered by Chris The Lawyer in 1 day 1 year ago
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Hi My name is ***** ***** I am a New Zealand lawyer based in Wellingtonwith more than 42 years of experience. I am here to help with your questions.

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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

You can make a claim to her property and you will need letters of administration. That administrator could be you or your sister or her husband but you and your sister will need to see an experienced estate lawyer to help with the estate and claims

Customer
Hi ChrisCan ask more for my $8?The house is in Mum's name - will it be split one third her current husband and two thirds her three children?She had an estranged brother in Holland who has not made contact with since her emigration to New Zealand in 1972.Kind regards
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Her brother will not have a claim to her property. The Administration Act says

Personal chattels (as defined in section 2(1)):
the husband, wife, civil union partner, or surviving de facto partner takes these absolutely, except that any that are subject to a hire purchase agreement, are taken subject to the vendor’s rights under that agreement

Residue of the estate:

•this stands charged with the payment to the husband, wife, civil union partner, or surviving de facto partner of the prescribed amount, plus interest (at the rate prescribed by or under section 39) on that amount from the date of the death until that amount is paid or appropriated

•anything that remains of the residue is held in trust as follows:

•a third for the husband, wife, civil union partner, or surviving de facto partner absolutely; and

•two-thirds on the statutory trusts for the issue of the intestate

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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

The prescribed amount is $155,000.

Customer
Can my stepdad claim half of the house sale per the Relationship Law?
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

He could if they were together more than three years

Customer
If my sister and I apply as executors of the will and leave my stepdad in the house. Can we ask him for terms? That is that when he dies he leaves the house to us as mum's children and his kids don't get a share. If he moves a girlfriend in she can't have a share of mum's estate even after three years. If he goes into care like mum did will the house be used to pay for it? Mum received a subsidy from the government we think that he will not be entitled to the same.
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

You can give him what is called a life interest in the property which will entitle him to stay there until he either remarries, moves into rest care or dies. He probably will qualify for the Resthome subsidy however if he needs to go into care.I would suggest you talk to your lawyer about giving him a life interest, which may suit him because that would keep him eligible for the Resthome subsidy

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