13 Aug 2019

Older couples joining households - the legal lowdown

From Nine To Noon, 9:35 am on 13 August 2019
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Photo: 123rf

Auckland barrister Sandra Grant says older couples need to consider how they want their assets to be treated, under current property law and under proposed changes.

The Law Commission has suggested a raft of changes to the Property Relationships Act  - the biggest being how the family home is shared. Rather than the automatic 50-50 split, if the family home was owned by one partner before the relationship began or was a third party gift or inheritance, only the increase in the value of the home during the relationship should be shared.

Sandra Grant says re-partnering is on the rise, and older couples - often with their own adult children-  should consider opting out of the current and proposed law in order to protect their assets.