Individual

Buying or Selling a House

Buying and selling a home is both an exciting and sometimes stressful time. It is also the greatest purchase most people are likely to make in their lifetime so it is important to get the details and paperwork exactly right.

Why do I Need a Solicitor When Buying or Selling my House?

There is much more to buying and selling a property than filling in a few forms. If you fail to word a condition right or mis-read a report you could be faced with serious financial consequences. It is therefore important to engage a professional solicitor to protect your interests.

How Can We Help?

At Hewat Galt we will provide you with sound, secure advice that will ensure your savings and interests are protected. We can advise you on the drafting of the conditions contained in the sale and purchasing agreement check the LIM report and discuss any other information we feel it would be prudent to acquire before purchasing the property, such as a building or structural engineers’ report.

If you are buying or selling a residential property give us a call today.

In your golden years the last thing you want concern yourself with is legal matters. Our lawyers will provide you with sound, quality legal advice and guide you through your options in plain-English. By entrusting us to provide you with the information and guidance you need you can feel confident that you concerns are well taken care of, and therefore get on with living life.

We can assist with the following areas of senior law:

  • Trust, estates and succession planning
  • Enduring power of attorney
  • Asset protection
  • Rest home subsidies and loans applications
  • Retirement village ownership

If you are unable to come into our office we will come to your home to discuss your legal requirements. Our friendly, empathetic staff will take the time to understand you and your family’s unique situation.

If you require any legal advice regarding senior matters please contact our office today.

At Hewat Galt we can assist you with every step of your immigration process. We are a law firm, therefore regulated by the New Zealand Law Society, so you can trust that our advice is professional, honest and current.

There are many different ways a person can gain entry to New Zealand including:

Temporary Work Visas

Temporary work visas can be issued to people who:

  • Have a job offer in New Zealand
  • Are coming for a particular purpose or event (ie the Christchurch rebuild) but do not intend to stay long-term.
  • Want to gain work experience or work after completing their studies in New Zealand.
  • Wish to join a partner already residing in New Zealand and work.

There are a number of requirements which must be met to gain a temporary work visa. We can assist you to fill out the necessary application forms and complete your immigration process.

Skilled Migrant Visas

A skilled migrant visa offers an opportunity for people with specific skills to migrate to New Zealand permanently. In order to qualify you must:

  • Be 55 years old or under
  • Be healthy
  • Be of good character
  • Speak English

In order to gain residency through the skilled migrant category you must fulfil a number of ‘points’ in order to have an expression of interest accepted. At Hewat Galt, we can help you work through this sometimes complicated process and assist you with the correct filing of the necessary forms.

Business and Investment Visas

There are different types of business visas to suit individual situations. They include:

  • Investor visas – for individuals who wish to invest funds in a business and live in New Zealand.
  • Entrepreneur visa – for people who wish to run their own business in New Zealand.
  • Employees of a relocating business – for people whose business is relocating to New Zealand and they are unable to gain residency via any other category.

Our immigration specialist can assist you with all your business relocation requirements, to ensure your business, assets and people make a smooth transition into the New Zealand economy.

Student Visas

New Zealand has a world-renowned education system and many people from overseas countries come here to study at school or tertiary level every year.

Students coming to New Zealand from overseas must meet certain criteria. We can assist you in filling in the necessary forms and offer relocation advice.

If your need trustworthy, competent immigration advice call or email our office and we will come back to you as soon as possible.

Our disputes resolution and litigation philosophy is “what is best for our client.” We understand dispute resolution can be stressful, ongoing and expensive, therefore, we make every effort to ensure that we can settle the matter quickly and cost-effectively. Our advice includes weighing up the risks of litigation and whether the cost is worth the return. Where possible, we will attempt to resolve your dispute through mediation, arbitration, or the disputes tribunal.

Can I Receive Legal Aid?

Legal aid may be available for civil disputes, however, you may be required to repay all or part of the legal aid costs and pay a user charge.

How Long Will It Take Before I Can Get To Court?

A dispute can take many months to be heard in court and can be very expensive. We will aim to have your dispute settled promptly, outside of the courts, to save you time and money.

If you require advice on a dispute call our office today and one of our friendly solicitors can talk you through your options.

At Hewat Galt we provide practical, down to earth advice for our rural clients. We have been based in Southland for many years and understand the often complex needs of the farming community.

We can assist you with all aspects of rural property including:

  • Sale and purchase
  • Subdivision
  • Trust and succession planning
  • Leases
  • Syndicated rural investment

Understanding that your rural property is a major asset, our lawyers will assist you with tax and financial matters pertaining to your land. Our dedicated staff will offer you sound, robust advice concerning some of the more complicated matters related to rural property such as organising trusts, wills and succession planning so you can feel confident that your major personal and financial investment is being managed professionally.

If you would like to speak to one of our lawyers about your rural property matter contact us today.

What is a Trust?

A trust is a way of protecting your assets for the future. To form a trust a person (known as a settlor) places assets under the control of a person (known as the trustee), for the benefit of another person or people (known as the beneficiaries) or for a specified purpose (such as education).

The trustee must deal with the asset in the manner set out in the trust deed. Trusts can be:

  • Fixed – this is where the beneficiaries and their share of the assets are decided when the trust is created.
  • Discretionary – the trust deed gives the trustees discretion as to who may benefit from the trust and what their proportional share will be.
Why Would I Want To Create a Trust?
  • To keep property such as a family farm within the family.
  • To manage tax liability on assets.
  • To put money aside for a specific purpose such as tertiary education.
  • To protect assets such as the family home from being used for debt collection.
  • To avoid property becoming relationship property in the future.
What is a Charitable Trust?

A charitable trust is set up for the express purpose of operating for a charitable purpose. There are often many beneficiaries and money donated to the charitable trust for the purpose of the beneficiaries is tax deductible.

How can we help?

Our experienced solicitors can assist you with creating your family or charitable trust. Setting up a trust can often be complex but we will ensure that you fully understand the process so you can make the best decisions in relation to your interests.

Contact us today if you would like to find out more about setting up a family or charitable trust.

Why Do I Need A Will?

A will sets out your preferences as to how you (known as the testator) would like your property to be settled after you die and who will take care of any dependents you may have. It can also stipulate your wishes for your funeral and whether you would like to be buried or cremated.

The passing of a loved one is a very stressful time for families. By ensuring you have an up-to-date will, stored in a place where family members can easily locate it, you will save them from a lot of unnecessary distress and anxiety as they will be confident that their decisions reflect your wishes.

What Are the Requirements of a Will?

To be valid a will must:

  • Be in writing,
  • Be signed by the testator,
  • Witnessed by two other people; and
  • Intended by the testator to be a will.
Do I Need To See A Solicitor To Write Up a Will?

No, legal advice is not necessary. However, to draw up a will is a low-cost service and often free. To avoid mistakes and ambiguity it is worth consulting a lawyer to draw up your will.

If you with to enquire about drawing up a will contact us today.

If you are based in Southland we can provide a basic will for free.

For further information simply contact our office and we will organise an appointment for you.

If you are unable to fund your own legal costs you can apply for Legal Aid. Legal aid can provide financial assistance for the following types of legal matters:

  • Criminal offenses carrying a prison sentence of six months or more.
  • Family disputes such as child support and disputes around caring for children.
  • Civil disputes that might go to court such as debt recovery and breach of contract.

You cannot receive legal aid for the following matters:

  • Divorce
  • Problems that would not go to court
  • Immigration matters (except for refugee matters)
  • Companies or groups of people (apart from occasional Waitangi Tribunal cases)
  • Reviews by Work and Income
  • Problems with schools, universities and other educational institutions
  • Disputes Tribunal cases
  • Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal cases

Legal aid is means tested, therefore, depending on your assets and income you may have to pay a proportion of your legal fees yourself, with legal aid making up the balance.

For information on legal aid see here or contact us and we will assist you with any questions you may have.

Contact us today and we can talk through your issue in strict confidence.