Government Announces Granny Flat Rule

News

Machaela becomes a Director

We are thrilled to announce that from 1 November 2023, Machaela Forbes has appointed as a director of The Law Shop! Machaela has been a solicitor with us since 2017 and quickly became an integral part of The Law Shop family. She has consistently demonstrated...

Welcome to 170 Ranolf Street

We are so pleased to announce that we have moved into our new premises! There is still work to be done outside and some tweaks inside but we have settled in, are seeing clients and loving our new space!

Dream to reality

Back in 2003, Paula and the two women she worked with dreamed of owning and running The Law Shop as a business where women could have it all – a great job balanced with an involved family and personal life - from a quaint little house on the corner of Ranolf and Devon...

We are moving

Our next big announcement is that we are moving! The Law Shop is thrilled to announce that we are moving to 170 Ranolf Street on 1 September 2023. Renovations are currently underway, and we're excited for you to see the changes and experience the ample parking space...

New beginnings at The Law Shop

The koru symbolises new beginnings, life and hope. Today marks the dawning of a new era at The Law Shop! On Friday 30 June 2023, our family lawyers had their last day with us, and now our property team stands strong and ready to embrace the exciting opportunities that...

Big changes coming to The Law Shop

After 9 years as business partners, Stephanie is leaving The Law Shop on 30 June to pursue an exciting career opportunity at Kahui Legal. Samantha will join here there and we will cease offering family law although we’ll continue to draft and advise on relationship...

Refinancing – let us take care of the legal work

At The Law Shop, we specialize in real estate transactions, including mortgage refinancing. Let us take care of the legal work to ensure your refinance goes smoothly and without any complications. We understand that refinancing your mortgage can be a time-sensitive...

Consider this before signing a commercial lease

Whether it’s a showroom, retail space or hospitality business, or even just an area to park your company vehicles, it’s important to have a lease which ensures that both you and your landlord have a clear understanding of each other’s rights and obligations. Paula...

Due diligence when buying a business

“Essentially, due diligence is doing your homework and thoroughly investigating the business before you commit to buying it,” says Paula Lines from The Law Shop. “You’ll need to get accounting advice on the past performance of the business, research council...

Cash flow and mortgage security

Learning how to effectively manage your money can truly make or break a business, as cash is the lifeblood of any venture. Controlling cash can be streamlined by bringing in technology to assist with anything from accounting reconciliation to supplier management....

Don’t let holiday stress get the best of you

Business law expert and Director of The Law Shop Paula Lines explains that businesses that have their planning in order are better protected. All sorts of issues can come up this time of year, but plenty can be dealt with ahead of time. “Payday is a big one. You’ll...

Virtual lawyers see technology as catalyst for change

Business law expert Paula Lines, director of The Law Shop, has been working from a virtual space since August this year and for her firm, it’s working well. Although the Greerton office is gone, it’s business as usual for The Law Shop. After thorough research and an...

Prepare your Business for the holiday season

Does your business close over the holiday season so you and your team can enjoy some time to rest and recharge? If so, you’re probably looking forward to recording a new voicemail message for when you shut the doors until January. Maybe you work through the Christmas...

Be prepared as life, and business, is full of surprises

Maybe you’ve arranged income protection insurance to make sure that your family isn’t left high and dry if things go pear-shaped. That’s great, but from a business perspective, there’s more to it. So, what happens to your business if you or your business partners get...

Should you discharge a mortgage when the loan is paid off?

“We’re often told by our clients that they “don’t have a mortgage” when they ask us to act for them on the sale of their home. However, many times when we search the title, we find there is a mortgage registered and we will need to have it discharged on the settlement...

Preparing your business for Sale

There are plenty of things you can do to get the most out of the sale of your business. It all depends on your motivations and objectives, but if you can afford to take the time you should do everything you can to get it in the best shape possible before you even look...

How Separation can affect your Business

“Usually, if a marriage, civil union or de facto relationship has lasted more than 3 years, all relationship property will be divided equally between the parties unless there is an opting out agreement, or if the Family Court determines that there are extraordinary...

How to Protect your Personal Assets as a Business Owner

Your landlord or a supplier can ask for your personal guarantee, which is common business practice. If the business becomes unable to pay the debt, the personal guarantor will be called upon to repay what’s outstanding. In small businesses, the guarantor is usually...

8 contracts to transfer when buying a business

So you’ve registered formal interest, taken care of due diligence, and you’re ready to sign on the dotted line and buy the business. Now it is important to make sure that all the important contracts get transferred from the previous owner to you. It’ll help you make a...

Navigating the process of purchasing a business

At that time, it is important to appoint an adviser who can assist you further. Professional advice is important to make sure all bases are covered, but getting a lawyer and accountant on board also improves your credibility as a buyer. “A lawyer’s role in the process...

Celebrating Women in Law

Yes, you read that right. The Law Shop, with offices in Tauranga and Rotorua, is a firm of all women. It wasn’t set out to be that way when director Paula Lines took over the then Rotorua-based legal firm in September 2008. There was no plan in place to keep it ladies...

Protecting your assets with a family trust

Paula Lines from The Law Shop explains that this risk can be enough to put some people off having their own business and that this is where setting up a trust can be useful. “If a trust owns your family home, and there is no debt back to you, the house is likely to be...

Keys steps to starting your own business

If you’re starting a business this year, there will be a lot to think about. Are you starting from scratch, or do you want to buy an existing business or a franchise? Buying a business gives you a known name, some structure, and a client base. Starting a brand-new...

The Best Start for a Business Partnership

Paula Lines, director at The Law Shop, explains that creating the partnership or shareholders agreement and setting up the proper structure for the partnership are the two most important steps in the process. She says it’s about understanding the mechanics of how your...

Signing legal contracts when you’re out of the country

Most contracts do not become legally binding until it has the signatures of each party involved. By signing off on a document, it confirms each party’s agreement and intention of executing the terms in the contract. Whether you are agreeing to an employment contract,...

When the going gets tough – are you personally liable?

Many businesses are operated through companies to limit the liability of the people behind the company, but there are circumstances when a director will be personally liable. It’s important to know when those liabilities may arise. Paula Lines from The Law Shop...

Protecting NZ from “dirty” money

The AML/CFT Act applies to banks, casinos, financial institutions and some trust and company service providers. If you’ve tried to open a bank account or get a loan in recent years, you’ve been asked to provide certain identification and proof of address as well as...

What to do if a Trust is no longer needed

“If it becomes clear that a trust is no longer needed or desirable, the trust can be wound up. For instance when administration costs are too high in relation to the recognised benefits. Also, if the purpose of setting up a trust in the first place was to protect...

Managing your assets in a Trust

A trust is a legally binding arrangement when a person (the settlor) transfers legal ownership of assets to certain chosen persons (trustees) to be held for the benefit of other persons named by the settlor (the beneficiaries). If your family home is in a trust, for...

Buying a Business?

As this is going to be your livelihood, you’ll need to know exactly what you’re getting into. Paula Lines and her team at The Law Shop provide expert legal advice on all of the aspects of purchasing a business, from the purchase agreement to the lease, so you can...

Deed of Delegation

“It’s very much like the EPA, but it’s a different document. This is the one you need for your business. If you're overseas, become incapacitated, or if your business partner dies and you don’t have this deed sorted, you can count on major headaches. Costly delays and...

In very recent news, the government has proposed a law change to allow people to build granny flats of up to 60m2 without having to get a resource consent or building consent from the local council. A 60m2 granny flat is not tiny! There are many pre-built options containing two (small) bedrooms, a full kitchen […]
Wednesday, 19 June 2024

An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document that enables you to appoint someone to make financial and care decisions on your behalf should you lack the capacity to make those decisions for yourself, due to illness or injury or if you’re away overseas and unreachable.

You may be thinking “I don’t need an Enduring Power of Attorney – I’m fit, young and healthy”. This is a common misunderstanding – you can ONLY set up an EPA when you have mental capacity. Once you’ve lost capacity, or if you become sick suddenly, it’s too late. Your loved ones are forced to apply for orders in the Family Court to be able to make any decisions for you. This is expensive, intrusive, time consuming and stressful.

There are two separate EPA documents; one that covers your property affairs and one that covers your personal care and welfare decisions. You may like to pick one person to carry out both roles, or you may like to pick two different people that you think would be most appropriate in each role (although they will need to be able to work well together in that case). For property, you can specify two people to act together.

  1. A Property EPA covers all of your property, including but not limited to bank accounts, land and investments. Your nominated person (or people) are responsible for taking care of your finances, such as paying bills and managing investments, but also ensuring that your house is maintained. This EPA can come into effect while you are still mentally capable, for when things may become too difficult for you to manage on your own (or perhaps you are just away travelling). You can draft your EPA so that your nominated attorney must consult with you or others so there are checks on what they’re doing.
  2. A Personal Care and Welfare EPA covers all your health, accommodation and associated care decisions. It focuses on appointing someone to make decisions about your wellbeing, such as where you live and the care that you will receive. For example, the nominated person will consult with your doctor and make decisions that are in your best interests, which may include making the decision to move you into a secure unit of a rest home rather than stay at home on your own. The Personal Care and Welfare EPA only comes into effect when a medical professional has declared that you are “mentally incapable”. So that there is no conflict of opinion or difficulty with decision-making, you are only allowed to have one person act as your attorney for the Personal Care and Welfare EPA.

We commonly see elderly clients who need their Property attorney to pay their bills while they are stuck up at the hospital recovering from illness and our favourite story of using a Personal Care and Welfare EPA was to get the medical records from a rural GP for a 20 year old on her OE who unexpectedly needed information on any pre-existing conditions that could complicate the urgent surgery she required.

In very recent news, the government has proposed a law change to allow people to build granny flats of up to 60m2 without having to get a resource consent or building consent from the local council.

A 60m2 granny flat is not tiny! There are many pre-built options containing two (small) bedrooms, a full kitchen and bathroom (usually no bath though!) with open plan lounge/dining.

The current proposal would require the buildings to be:

  • designed and built to comply with the Building Code,
  • completely stand alone
  • one storey
  • connected to council services (if available) by a licenced person.

There are two options proposed for the distance required from the property boundary/other buildings – either 2 metres OR its own height.

But councils are not entirely out of the picture. The proposal records that before starting the work, property owners must provide council with the plans and pay an administration fee and then notify when the work is completed.

The consultation process is open if you want to have your say on this matter: https://www.mbie.govt.nz/have-your-say/grannyflats