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Having a Trust & Being a Trustee Can be Complex & Take Time to Manage

Trust Administration Service

A trust can be a valuable way of protecting assets held for the benefit of others.  Kannangara Thomson recognises that clients may need help with meeting their trust obligations and with the duties of being a trustee.

Duties and obligations for trustees are increasing and it can be difficult to keep up to date with what is needed.  We have a dedicated team who offer trust administration services to assist in the effective management of trusts.

We can help you by:

  • Maintaining the records of the trust
  • Reminding trustees of significant dates
  • Liaising with the trust’s accountants
  • Preparing appropriate minutes and obtaining signatures of trustees when required
  • Circulating questionnaires to capture major decisions
  • Arranging and attending annual meetings of trustees, preparing agenda, minutes, and reporting to trustees
  • Carrying out a review of main aspects of the trust
  • Being available to discuss any matter relating to the trust
  • Preparing an annual trust management report summarising the essential elements of the Trust
  • Maintaining a current register of trustees, beneficiaries, and trust assets
  • Reviewing financial statements
  • Ensuring that Government legislation and compliance requirements are met.

Peace of Mind

  • Trustees are aware of their duties and the liability of trustees is mitigated by effective trust administration.
  • Regular trust reviews will ensure the trust is well run and meets its purpose.

Saving you Time

  • Trust transparency and good management will reduce the chance of any legal issues in the future.
  • We complete the trust administration

Independent Trustee

Trustees make the decisions for the trust.  Decisions made need to be accountable.  Being a trustee comes with a great deal of responsibility, so we recommend that you choose your trustees wisely.

We do, on a limited basis, offer our Trustee company as an independent trustee when there are no other options.  Under that service, we are actively involved in all decision making, reviewing, and signing documentation, answering trust queries, and reviewing the trust at each annual meeting.  If we act as an independent, it is a condition of us agreeing to do so that the trust comes under our annual trust management service.

Specialist Trust Work

Kannangara Thomson will work with clients to ensure their trust coincides with their estate planning, in particular:

  • Your will can leave your personal assets to the trust for distribution according to the trust deed.
  • Your will can also appoint someone to have power of appointment of trustees once you pass away.
  • Enduring Powers of Attorney should be in place in case you become mentally incapable.
  • A Memorandum of Wishes give trustees direction as to your wishes for the distribution of the trust assets once you have passed away.

We work closely with your accountant to ensure affairs are tidy and up today.

Top Tips

  • Think carefully about who the trustees will be, as trustees have a great responsibility.
  • All Trust decisions need to be documented for transparency and accountability to beneficiaries.
  • All decisions of the trustees must be unanimous.
  • Have an independent trustee in your trust to ensure independence when decision making.

What You Need to Know About the Trusts Act 2019

What You Need to Know About the Trusts Act 2019

The Trusts Act 2019 came into force on 30 January 2021.  It replaces the Trustee Act 1956 and applies to all existing and future trusts in New Zealand.

The Act is intended to make trust law simpler, more transparent, and more accessible to the general public.

“How does this affect me as a trustee or beneficiary of a Trust?”

  • As a trustee there are greater compliance requirements for the trust and all trustees are required to contact beneficiaries and supply them with basic trust information.
  • As a beneficiary, the trustees of any trust you are a beneficiary of are required to notify you that you are a beneficiary and provide you with basic trust information.

A summary of the key provisions in the Trusts Act 2019 are:

  1. The life of a trust is extended to 125 years, it was previously limited to 80 years.
  1. There are compulsory duties for trustees, which cannot be changed. These are:
    • A trustee must know the terms of the trust.
    • A trustee must act in accordance with the terms of the trust.
    • A trustee must act honestly and in good faith.
    • A trustee must deal with trust property for the benefit of the beneficiaries.
    • A trustee must exercise the trustee’s powers for a proper purpose.
  1. There are optional duties for trustees, which can be modified or excluded in the trust deed. These are:
    • A trustee must exercise the care and skill in administering a trust that is reasonable in the circumstances.
    • When investing, a trustee must exercise the care and skill that a prudent person of business would
    • exercise in managing the affairs of others.
    • A trustee must not exercise a power directly or indirectly for the trustee’s own benefit.
    • A trustee must consider actively and regularly whether the trustee should be exercising one or more of the trustee’s powers.
    • A trustee must not bind or commit trustees to a future exercise or non-exercise of a discretion.
    • A trustee must avoid a conflict between the interests of the trustee and the interests of the beneficiaries.
    • A trustee must act impartially in relation to the beneficiaries and must not be unfairly partial.

o A trustee must not make a profit from the trusteeship of a trust.

  • A trustee must not take any reward for acting as a trustee, but this does not affect the right of a trustee to be reimbursed for the trustee’s legitimate expenses and disbursements in acting as a trustee.
  • If there is more than one trustee, the trustees must act unanimously.
  1. If any of the optional duties for trustees are changed in the trust deed, the advisor must point this out to the settlors.
  2. There is a limit on trustee exemption and indemnity clauses. The terms of a trust deed must not limit or exclude a trustee’s liability for any breach of trust arising from the trustee’s dishonesty, willful misconduct, or gross negligence.
  3. Trustees must keep all trust information and documents stored for the life of the trust.
  1. Trustees must make available to every beneficiary or representative of a beneficiary the basic information relating to the trust, this is:
    • the fact that a person is a beneficiary of the trust; and
    • the name and contact details of the trustees; and
    • the occurrence of, and details of, each appointment, removal, and retirement of a trustee as it occurs; and
    • the right of the beneficiary to request a copy of the terms of the trust or trust information.
  1. There is a presumption that a trustee must give a beneficiary or the representative of a beneficiary the trust information that person has requested within a reasonable time unless certain provisions apply.
  2. There are updated requirements for the compulsory removal of a trustee. The person who has the power to appoint and remove trustees must use that power to remove a trustee if that trustee loses capacity and there is no other person able to affect the removal.

If you have any questions or concerns about how the Trusts Act 2019 might affect your Trust, please contact us on (03) 3774421 or email us at email@ktlaw.co.nz

Family Trusts & Asset Protection

No matter what your financial worth is, a lot of hard work has gone into building your asset base (big or small).  There is an element of risk behind every major personal or financial decision that you make, for example beginning a relationship, starting a business, or buying a house.

This is a time to review your risks and look at how well you are protected.  Don’t leave it too late.

Family Trusts – Asset Protection

One of the best ways to protect yourself and to provide for your family’s future is through a family trust.  This will protect your assets and provide for your interests and give security to your loved ones.  A family trust ensures that your assets are distributed in accordance with your wishes and requirements.

A trust also provides protection from creditors and ex-partners.  However, a badly set up trust can create a whole lot of problems.  Seek the best legal advice when setting up a Trust to avoid having these problems.  Trusts should be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure that your needs are still being met and that you meet all the requirements of the Trusts Act 2019 which came into force on 30 January 2021.

Family Trust and Asset Advice

At Kannangara Thomson we can office you the best advice possible and the most suitable way to protect your assets and to help you do this. 

Please contact us on 03 377 4421 or email on email@ktlaw.co.nz to be put through to our expert team.

Brent Selwyn

Kahu Simmonds

Occupying Right Agreements

Retirement Lifestyle villages have a number of different ways that they grant rights of occupation of property to their residents. These are all bound by some government restrictions. Most villages use Occupation Right Agreements. It is important to understand what you are entering into and the specialist elder law Team at Kannangara Thomson can assist you.

An Occupation Right Agreement will sometimes also be referred to as a Licence to Occupy or an Occupation Licence. The main difference between these and regular property ownership is that you only have a personal right to occupy the property. Instead of owning the property that you live in, you sign a contract which grants you the right to live there until a future specified event such as your death, or sooner if you have a need for a higher level of care.

There are a few restrictions with Occupation Right Agreements. You are not able to mortgage the property, transfer the right to occupy or sell the property. The right to occupy must be personal to the occupants and the occupation right agreement is generally always required to be in the personal names of the occupant(s).

Each village will have its own set of obligations and these usually include things like a code ofconduct, parking restrictions, your insurance obligations, who is responsible for repairs and maintenance etc. Most occupation right agreements will generally include the ability for friends or relatives to stay with you, usually for a specified maximum duration. You may also be able to make modifications or alterations to your unit in some circumstances and you may be able to keep a pet.

A regular service fee will also be payable to the village. The amount of the fee will depend on the level of care and/or services that you require. There may also be requirements that you must fulfil before you can enter into an Occupation Right Agreement. One common requirement is that each occupants signing the occupation right agreement must have a valid Will in place and Enduring Powers of Attorney. This is partially why it is legally required by Government to have a legal professional advise you and to be present when signing any Occupation Right Agreements.

We have a fantastic team at Kannangara Thomson ready and willing to help you. Click here to view our Retirement Planning team

You can also download our free Guide to Elder Care Booklet here

WINZ Rest Home Subsidies

This is a complex and specialist area covering the circumstances in which individuals can qualify for assistance from the government to pay for the not inconsiderable rest home fees that can be involved where a person is living in a rest home or indeed receiving constant hospital care in the hospital wing of a rest home.

While there are existing policies which determine eligibility, one has to have an open mind to the fact that with the ageing population and the increased number of people going into home or hospital care there are going to be financial issues of affordability in the future which have not yet been fully canvassed. Therefore, while this article endeavours to state the government policies, these are only the policies in existence at this point in time and will almost certainly change in the future.

People who:
 Don’t have a partner, or
 Have a partner who is in long term residential care.
– Must have combined total assets valued at $239,930 or less to qualify.

People who:
 Have a partner who is not in care can choose a threshold of:
– Combined total assets of $131,391 not including the value of their house and car, or
– Combined total assets of $239,930 which will include the value of their house and car.

Please note: asset thresholds are adjusted at 1 July each year with the next adjustment due 1 July 2022 and that the house is only exempt from the financial means assessment when it is the principal place of residence of the partner who is not in care or there is a dependent child.

As a person cannot apply until they meet the criteria tests mentioned above, it is important to keep a close eye on the asset total in either category to ensure that an application is made at the correct time and the Funeral Trust established if considered appropriate. If the application is not made soon enough then the WINZ subsidy cannot be backdated. So for example, if it was left until the assets in the second case totalled $100,000.00 and even though the threshold was then (say) $200,000, WINZ would only start paying from the point that the application had been made; they would not make any compensation for the money that had been spent between $200,000.00 and $100,000.00.

WINZ are very well informed about the role of trusts in the lives of many people applying for a rest home subsidy. They will scrutinise very carefully the history of any trust including in particular the reasons for setting up the trust. If they consider the reasons were valid then the trust assets may be excluded from personal assets but WINZ may still look to any income that the trust is earning as a contribution towards rest home payments. This is very important to understand as many people set up trusts because it was then customary to do so and they may not now be the panacea they were initially thought to be in this context.

What are Enduring Powers of Attorney?

Have you wondered what happens when you can no longer manage your affairs?

The Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988 allows you to appoint people you trust to manage your affairs under Enduring Powers of Attorney. These documents come in two forms, one for personal care and welfare and the second for property matters.

In relation to your personal care and welfare, unless ordered by the court, and even then, only in special circumstances, you can only appoint one attorney, although you are able to appoint a first successor attorney and if you require, even a second successor attorney. Where an Enduring Power of Attorney in relation to property is concerned, you may have more than one attorney and once again, you can appoint a successor or successors. An enduring power of attorney in relation to property can also be created so that it also acts as a general power of attorney and can be used by your attorney(s) while you still have mental capacity. Or, you can choose to set it up so that it only comes into effect if you lose mental capacity.

However, an Enduring Power of Attorney in relation to personal care and welfare can only be activated when you have lost mental capacity and are ‘wholly incapable of managing your own personal welfare.’ You are presumed to be competent unless an assessment by a registered medical practitioner or specialist geriatrician shows otherwise. Significant changes were made with the passing of the Protection of Personal Rights and Property Rights Amendment Act 2007 and then in 2016 new standardised forms were introduced.

Changes introduced in 2007 included:

  • The ability to appoint a Successor Attorney, in the event that the original attorney is unwilling or unable to act.
  • The ability to authorise your attorney to act on certain specified matters or all matters.
  • The abillity to require your attorney to consult with or provide information to specified persons.
  • The power to authorise your attorney to ask the court to make or amend your Will.

If you wish to change your attorney or have concerns about the person or persons you have appointed as your attorney, while you have mental capacity, you can revoke the attorney’s appointment. If you have lost mental capacity and a family member or friends are concerned about an attorney’s actions, the only redress is through the courts. If you lose mental capacity and you do not have Enduring Powers of Attorney in place, an application can be made to the Family Court for someone to be appointed as your Welfare Guardian and/or your Property Manager. This is a much more expensive process, both in time and cost. The appointment of a welfare Guardian and/or property manager by the court would usually be for  a limited duration such as 3 years, following which application must be made to the court for the
orders to be renewed.

Enduring Powers of Attorney are a very important estate planning tool and we recommend that everyone should have these valuable documents in place, regardless of age, so that in the event of an unforeseen loss of capacity, your affairs can be managed by someone you trust.

By Brent Selwyn of Kannangara Thomson

Kannangara Thomson’s specialist Elder Care team deal with all aspects of senior law.

Changes to the Credit Contract and Consumer Finance Act 2003

On 1 December 2021, major changes to the Credit Contract and Consumer Finance Act 2003 (CCCFA) came into force.

The changes introduced a raft of new requirements for lenders, which has resulted in a significantly longer and more complex application process for potential borrowers.

These changes apply to all applications for consumer credit, including home loans, personal loans, credit cards and vehicle finance.

One of the most significant changes are the new suitability regulations. In essence, the suitability regulations require lenders to take a ‘deep dive’ into the potential borrowers’ finances. Bank accounts will be meticulously scrutinised for income and expenditure over the last 90 days to assess the applicant’s ability to meet the loan repayments. Expenditure is assessed to the minutest detail, such as takeaways and grocery shops.

With these added burdens on lenders, borrowers can expect significant delays in obtaining finance and refusals where acceptance would have once been likely if their bank accounts for the last 90 days are not ‘squeaky clean’.

In the current lending climate, it is important for potential borrowers to be proactive about cleaning up their bank accounts before applying, expect applications to take much longer than usual, and engage a mortgage broker to help navigate the information and explanations lenders now require.

2021 Resident Visa – One-Off Residence Pathway

The New Zealand Government has announced a new one-off residence category, the 2021 Resident Visa.

This will enable a large number of work visa holders to remain in New Zealand permanently. The Visa has been created to recognise the contribution migrants have made to New Zealand during COVID-19 and the uncertainly they have faced with closed borders and the required changes to immigration settings.

The new Visa will allow employers to retain settled, skilled and scarce migrant workers. The Visa is also available to those who have already submitted a resident visa application under the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) and Residence from Work (RfW).  It is also available to those who have submitted a SMC Expression of Interest as well as many other work visa holders who may not have been eligible through the current skilled residence pathway.

The 2021 Resident Visa will be open for applications in two stages, with the first group being able to apply from 1 December 2021.

The processing of 2021 Resident Visa applications is a priority for Immigration New Zealand over the next 12 months.

To check if you are eligible, please click on this Immigration New Zealand link below

2021 Resident Visa eligibility

We have an experienced immigration team at Kannangara Thomson and for further information please feel free to contact either Sathiya Muralidaran (email sathiya@ktlaw.co.nz) or John Yoon (email john@ktlaw.co.nz)  or phone our office on (03) 377 4421

Meet our Founding Partner Stephen Kannangara (now retired)

Stephen Kannangara was one of the founding partners of Cherry Kannangara, now known as Kannangara Thomson.

Originally led by Stephen, the team at Kannangara Thomson has drawn on life experiences gained from all corners of the globe with the unique personal histories forming a rich tapestry of wisdom, intelligence and practical thinking.

Stephen is of Sri Lankan descent, however, he was born and bred in Singapore. He came to New Zealand to study law and was admitted to the Bar as a barrister and solicitor in 1987. After graduating, and working as a lawyer in Christchurch and Hamilton. He then briefly practised in Papua New Guinea before being admitted as a solicitor of England and Wales in 1992. Stephen later added the Singapore Bar to his list of achievements, where he practised until 1996 when he returned with his family to New Zealand.

Stephen’s favourite thing about Kannangara Thomson is the relaxed nature and the fact they treat their clients as their friends.

Across an accomplished career, Stephen practised in legal areas as diverse as litigation, criminal law, employment, finance, franchising, immigration, mortgaging sales, family trust probate and administration of estates and probably many more areas as well.

Outside of the office, Stephen enjoys cooking, fishing, travelling and of course his family.

Stephen retired at the beginning of February 2021 and we wish him a very long and happy retirement.

Final Inspections… Do You Know Your Rights?

If you are buying a home one of the things you should know is that you are entitled as of right to reinspect the home on one occasion prior to possession.

The purpose of this inspection is to ensure that you are still getting exactly what you contracted to buy and that there have been no material changes to the property.

In particular, you should check that all the chattels being sold to you with the property are still there. Over the years the writer has seen examples of items such as curtains and light fittings being changed for cheaper ones. If you contracted to buy it, you can reasonably expect it to be there at settlement!

You should also check the appliances at the time of your final inspection. However in this regard you need to be aware of the general terms of sale (the fine print) which states that the chattels are “… Delivered to the purchaser in reasonable working order, but in all other respects in their state of repair as at the date of this agreement (fair wear and tear excepted)…”

So what can we read into that? If for example at the date of the agreement the dishwasher (being a chattel going with the property) was not in working order then you would have no right to insist on this being repaired. The thing to be taken from this is that you should check the chattels at the time you enter into the contract to ensure whether they are in good working order or not.

So the purpose of the final inspection is to check that there are no material changes to the chattels or the condition of the property. If new damage is discovered this is your one and only chance to have your lawyer either (A) ask for the damage to be made good or (B) ask for the retention of money pending such repair or (C) ask for a reduction in price to allow you to attend to the repairs yourself.

You should note that the pre-purchase inspection cannot be completed on the day of settlement and also, that if the agreement is reached for the vendor to carry out any works you are entitled to re-enter the property prior to possession on one further occasion to ensure compliance by the vendors with any such agreement.

Whatever you do ensure that you seek legal advice from an experienced conveyancer at the time of your purchase. At Kannangara Thomson we have many experienced conveyancing practitioners available to assist you with your purchase.

What are Form and Content Clauses?

If you are buying a home you can usually expect a number of further terms or conditions to be inserted into the contract for your protection. This will typically include conditions relating to finance, a land information memorandum and a building inspection report and if buying in post-earthquake Canterbury, an insurance condition and a clause dealing with the assignment of any residual rights in EQC and/or private insurance claims.

From time to time purchasers and vendors also have a condition inserted making the agreement subject to their solicitor’s approval of the form and content of the agreement. Usually this is requested when a seller or buyer would prefer to have consulted their lawyer prior to signing the agreement but for whatever reason were not able to do so. The idea of such a clause is obviously to enable your lawyer to make sure that all conditions which you need in the agreement for your protection are included in the agreement and, if one were missing to approve only on the basis that it is added.
However you need to be aware (and particularly vendors) that such clauses have been used by a purchaser’s solicitor on occasion to vary a condition with a view to cancelling an agreement. When you have conditions or further terms inserted in an agreement for your benefit you have an obligation to use reasonable endeavours to satisfy those conditions. So you cannot therefore simply change your mind and cancel the agreement without good cause.

At least that is the theory. If you have read the blog post on building reports you will be aware that there is an obligation to have a report prepared in accordance with “accepted principles and methods”. You will also be aware that on request you are required to provide a copy of the written report if you seek to avoid the contract on the basis of your building inspection. On at least one recent occasion we have seen a purchaser’s solicitor approve form and content only on the basis that this standard wording in the fine print be varied. In the particular instance this was because the buyer had already had a friend or relative do the building inspection and wanted out of the contract but had obviously been advised by their lawyer that they had not followed accepted principles and methods. They would also have been advised that their inability to provide the vendors with a copy of the report would be problematic.
Presented with those circumstances the vendor in that situation was left with little choice but to accept the approval of form and content on the basis of the altered building inspection clause. Predictably the contract was then duly cancelled by the purchaser.

One can argue that when acting for the purchaser it is our duty as lawyers representing the interests of our client to use a form and content clause in such a manner if that is to the benefit of our client. However you also need to be aware that as a vendor the use of such a clause in this manner could lead to a cancelled contract as was the case in the instance referred to.

Why Should I Pay for a LIM?

Buying a home is the largest investment most of us will make in our lifetimes. There is no substitute for sound legal advice from an experienced conveyancing lawyer at the time of your purchase.

In post-earthquake Christchurch in particular there is no longer anything such as a “simple conveyance”, if indeed there ever was such a thing! Add to that the complicated new tax laws for the taxation of property purchases and you need expert legal advice more than ever.

In this article we are going to look at why you need to obtain a Land Information Memorandum (LIM) and in particular, why are you should order and pay for it yourself.

 With the great proliferation of sales by auction and deadline sale these days it is increasingly common to be provided a LIM which has been ordered by the agent on behalf of the vendor’s or by the vendor’s themselves.

 The problem with this was highlighted in the recent case of Selwyn District Council v Monticello Holdings Ltd. In that case it was held that a council only owes a duty of care to the party ordering and paying for the LIM and not anyone else seeking to rely on the content of the LIM.

 Furthermore, as the time lag between listing, ordering the LIM and subsequent sale can sometimes be quite long, the LIM can often be some months old by the time your lawyer looks at it. This highlights the other factor with LIM’s namely, that the content is only warranted to be correct as at the date of issue.

What’s more, the standard contract for sales other than by auction provides at clause 9.3 (1) (a) (Tenth Edition (2019)2 ADLS form) that the LIM has to be obtained by the purchaser at the purchasers cost.

You might well think (and it may not be unreasonable to assume in some cases) that if the time between the issue of the LIM and the sale is small that there is a little chance of anything of material importance changing in relation to the property. However there is always a chance, however small that there might have been a requisition notified or a change to the content of the LIM however slim that chance might seem.

 A large number of buyers to choose to simply rely on the LIM provided but the message to be taken from this article is that if you want to be able to rely on the content of the LIM you should order and pay for it yourself.

Buying a Business – 7 Things You Need To Know

Are You Looking at Buying a Business?

In this video Brent Selwyn from Kannangara Thomson shares 7 key points to consider when buying a business.

1. Stock Adjustments Clauses
2. Staff
3. Restraint of Trade
4. Tangible Assets vs Non Tangible Assets
5. The Lease
6. Vendor Assistance
7. Franchise Systems

Please contact Brent on 03 377 4421 if you have any questions or if you would like more information on buying a business.

The Role of Your Lawyer in a Property Transaction


New Zealander’s have a love affair with property and during our lifetimes most of us will own property either for our own occupation or as an investment or both. It is a widely held misconception that conveyancing (the legal aspects of transferring ownership) of property is a straightforward task. In Christchurch in particular since the earthquakes of 2010, 2011 and beyond there is now no such thing as a “simple” conveyance if indeed there ever was! Buying your home is likely to be the most significant contract you ever enter into and it stands to reason therefore that having an experienced property lawyer on your side as your advocate and advisor is the logical thing to do.

In this article we take a short look at what your lawyer does in the background to assist you in completing that all-important sale, purchase or refinance. The role of a lawyer in conveyancing matters is largely misunderstood by the public and it is our hope that this article will dispel a few myths.


One of the principal roles of your lawyer in any property transaction is to act as a point of contact for various important parties in the transaction. In particular your lawyer will likely liaise with your mortgage advisor, bank or lender extensively during the due diligence phase. If you are a first home buyer your lawyer will also manage with you the process of dealing with your Kiwi Saver provider and if you are eligible, Housing New Zealand in relation to a home start grant.

And it doesn’t end there. Your lawyer will also be the principal point of contact for the real estate agent, your insurer or insurance broker, the local authority, quotable value and on occasions any number of other professionals including your property manager, valuer, surveyor, engineers and of course your building inspector. In the event that any issues arise during your due diligence investigation of any property, you can also expect your lawyer to be the enforcer of your rights under the contract, a negotiator on your behalf and a key advisor in the whole process.


Behind the scenes, your lawyer will receive and collate all of the relevant information relating to the property you are buying. This might include the land information memorandum from the local council, the building inspection report from your building inspector, the details regarding the earthquake claims and the scope of works, details of any earthquake repairs completed, details relating to insurance on the property and all matters relating to title and interests affecting the title. A fundamental part of your lawyer’s role is to keep you informed of the key dates and deadlines which are to be met during the course of your contract. In the event that a deadline cannot be met your lawyer will be the negotiator on your behalf to secure additional time to fulfil any conditions.


Having collated all the information relating to your purchase, your lawyer will advise you on all matters relating to or arising out of an investigation of the land information memorandum, the title to the land any insurance claims and of course the building inspection report. If necessary your lawyer will play a key role in assisting you to exit the agreement. Furthermore, should issues arise following your final inspection then your lawyer will be a key negotiator in managing any remedial work required of the vendor or on occasion negotiating the retention of funds pending any repairs being affected or on occasions, a reduction in the price if appropriate.

Another key role of your lawyer will be to advise you on the structure of your property ownership which will almost always depend on the nature of the relationship between the purchasers (if more than one) and might on occasion involve advice around ownership structures such as companies, partnerships or family trusts and in some circumstances, advice around relationship property considerations. Your lawyer will also guide you through the lending process and explain your obligations to the bank.


One of the vital roles of your lawyer in completing your purchase is to see to it that all funds required are gathered into the lawyer’s trust account in a timely fashion so that settlement is completed on time. This will include communicating with your lender and ensuring that all of its requirements are met so that loan monies are available on settlement day. Your lawyer will ensure that any Kiwi Saver withdrawal, home start grant (if applicable) or personal contributions of yours are also received in time for settlement.

Your lawyer will prepare and execute the electronic documents authorised by you which see the legal title to the property transferred into your name and any new mortgage registered in favour of your lender. Following the completion of settlement your lawyer will attend to registration of the property into your names and thereafter, report to you and the lender with an up-to-date copy of the certificate of title and the registered mortgage. Finally, following settlement your lawyer will have the pleasant task of calling you to congratulate you on the purchase of your new home and advise you where the keys may be collected.


Lawyers rely on experienced solicitors, registered legal executives and legal secretaries to assist them with some aspects of your purchase so don’t be surprised if during your purchase you have contact not only with your lawyer but also his or her supporting solicitor, legal executive or secretary. We hope that after having read this you will appreciate that the role of your lawyer in any property transaction is one which is hugely important to the overall success of your sale or purchase. At Kannangara Thomson we have an experienced team of property lawyers and support staff available to help you with your property requirements.

7 Things You Need To Know About Making A Will

Brent Selwyn shares a brand a new video on “7 Things You Need To Know About Making A Will”. If you are thinking about getting a Will then watch this video first.

If you’d like help with setting up a Will then please contact Brent Selwyn on 03 377 4421.

Thanks for watching – Brent.

Does your home include a toxicity clause?

Are you buying a home? It appears the number of houses contaminated by the preparation or use of drugs is such that at Kannangara Thomson, we feel the need to further protect our clients by including a toxicity clause in the purchase agreement. This clause gives our clients another level of protection and security when buying a home, as if they are unhappy with the results of the toxicity report in any aspect, they can cancel the agreement. If you are buying a home, please contact us on (03) 377441 and we can help to ensure you as a purchaser are well protected.

Do you know the two types of enduring powers of attorney?

There are two types of enduring power of attorney:

  • Enduring power of attorney for personal care and welfare: This type of Enduring Power of Attorney covers your health, accommodation and associated care decisions, and comes into effect only if a medical professional or the Family Court decides you have become ‘mentally incapable’. You may have only one attorney for this Enduring Power of Attorney; it is usually a close friend or family member.
  • Enduring power of attorney for property: You can pick one or more individuals or a trustee corporation to make decisions about how your property and finances should be managed. You can decide whether you want this to come into effect immediately or only when you lose your capacity.

It’s possible to have one person who has enduring power of attorney for your personal care and welfare, and a different person who has enduring power of attorney for your property and finances.