Lifelaw December Newsletter


When life decisions are everything.

At every stage of life there are a variety of legal issues to be faced affecting yourself, your family and other third parties.

At Lane Neave, we recognise our expertise can make a big difference to the outcome of the many challenges ahead of you – that’s what Lifelaw is about.

Visit the Lifelaw page

Refinance Do’s and Don’ts

At this time of year we are often focusing on our finances. There’s the hefty Christmas day lunch, gifts from Santa and the endless social events make it is a busy time for ourselves and our bank accounts.

We often see banks offering attractive rates at this time of year to help with all the extra costs.

Here are some important things to think about if you’re contemplating refinancing.

  1. You need a lawyer
    When changing banks with a refinance you will need a lawyer to take care of the tricky business of preparing the necessary documentation to switch the mortgage over your property from one bank to another.
  2. Timeframes
    Depending on the structure of your lending and the entities involved, a refinance can take anywhere from one week to four weeks. On that basis it’s best to let us know as soon as you decide to refinance and we can help get the ball rolling for you.
  3. Keep your bank in the loop
    To avoid delays in the refinance process you may wish to give the bank a heads-up that you are refinancing so they can rustle up the documents you require.
  4. Beware of the break fees
    When leaving your current bank there can be nasty break fees that will vary depending on the size and term of your loan. It’s a good idea to calculate these in advance to make sure you have enough funds from the new bank to cover these fees.
  5. Insurance
    You will need to advise your insurer and let them know who your new bank is. Your new bank will need to be registered as an interested party in the insurer’s books.  It’s fairly straight forward and can be done over the phone.

We’re happy to help make this busy time of year less stressful for you. Pick up the phone and call one of the Lifelaw team to discuss your refinance today.

I’m in a new relationship – are my assets protected?

Gary has moved into his new townhouse and is loving life in the city. Shortly after moving in he met a lovely young lady called Susan and things are getting serious pretty quickly. While Gary knows it’s early days, he also knows that relationships can carry a lot of weight when it comes to issues of property.

When Gary came to the Lifelaw team for advice, he assumed that he had to be living together in the same house for three years before he would be deemed a de facto couple. These days, there are a whole lot of factors that can come into consideration and it is possible to be a de facto couple without ever living in the same house. We also advised Gary that de facto couples have most of the same rights as married couples.

Moving In: If Susan moves into Gary’s townhouse with him, she could be entitled to half if they break up, even though Gary bought the townhouse before he met Susan. At the end of a qualifying de facto relationship, the family home is relationship property no matter when or by whom it was purchased.

Other Assets: Gary and Susan should also think carefully about their other assets that could be considered relationship property. Income and assets acquired during the relationship can all be classed as relationship property. This is particularly important where there are children from previous relationships who need property protected for their future benefit.

We advised Gary that he should consider entering into a Contracting Out Agreement to clearly agree on whose assets are whose from the get go. It may seem untrusting but if anything happens and the relationship comes to an end, there is an agreement already in place around who gets what.

Starting out with a good asset ownership structure and a solid agreement in place can save a lot of pain down the track.

New overseas investment restrictions – Major direction change for offshore New Zealand land acquisitions

The Government announced that a new Ministerial Directive Letter has been issued to the Overseas Investment Office. The letter outlines the Government’s general policy approach to overseas investment in sensitive New Zealand assets.

Lane Neave Overseas Investment Partner, Sam Nelson, along with Immigration Partner, Mark Williams, have written an opinion piece outlining the far reaching and significant implications of the Ministerial Directive.

View the article (new page)

Lifelaw team

If you have any queries in respect of the above, or any other lifelaw issues, please contact a member of our Team:

lifelaw team: Stephen Jeffery, Monica Ryan, Gerard Thwaites, Chris Anderson, Giana Fyfe, Sarah Bennett, Rosemary Aitken,Sherie Adams, Cindy Thom, Vanessa Boyd

In this edition:

lifelaw team

Stephen Jeffery - Christchurch private client lawyer and part of the Lane Neave Lifelaw teamStephen Jeffery

t +64 3 353 8050
m +64 21 669 925
(click to email)

Monica Ryan - Christchurch private client lawyer and part of the Lane Neave Lifelaw teamMonica Ryan

t +64 3 372 6335
m +64 21 665 286
(click to email)

Gerard Thwaites - Christchurch private client lawyer and part of the Lane Neave Lifelaw teamGerard Thwaites

t +64 3 353 8025
m +64 29 233 3447
(click to email)

Chris Anderson - Christchurch private client lawyer and part of the Lane Neave Lifelaw teamChris Anderson
Senior Associate

t +64 3 371 7690
m +64 21 65 6672
(click to email)

Giana Fyfe - Christchurch private client lawyer and part of the Lane Neave Lifelaw teamGiana Fyfe

t +64 3 372 6385
(click to email)


Sarah Bennett - Christchurch private client lawyer and part of the Lane Neave Lifelaw teamSarah Bennett

t +64 3 372 6385
(click to email)


Rosemary Aitken

t +64 3 379 3720
m +64 21 223 6327
(click to email)

Sherie Adams
Property Law Executive

t +64 3 371 7699
(click to email)


Cindy Thom
Registered Legal Executive

t +64 3 372 6304
(click to email)


Vanessa Boyd
Registered Legal Executive

t +64 3 372 6336
(click to email)

Disclaimer: The content of these articles are general in nature and not intended as a substitute for specific professional advice on any matter and should not be relied upon for that purpose.