Financial Planning in a partnership

Are you in a partnership?

If you’re married or in a partnership, it can be difficult to imagine it ending. But planning for this eventuality is like home and contents insurance – you hope you’ll never need it, but you know you’re better off for having it.

When you’re making a financial plan, it’s really important that you’re both involved in the process, and that the future financial security of both of you is taken care of.

On 1 February 2002, the matrimonial property law changed. Make sure you know how the law change affects you and your partner.

Do you think the same about money?

Everyone’s attitude to money is different. You may well have very different ways of approaching money matters. Money is one of the big issues that couples often disagree about. This is natural, because managing money involves human nature! Try the money personality profiler to confirm what you might already know about one another. And use what you learn to help you understand the other person’s needs and to work constructively through your financial planning together.

The legal bits

You should know how your financial situation would be affected if your relationship were to end.

It’s easy to assume that the law will take care of us if a relationship ends or one partner dies.

But ask yourself:

What do you both want and expect from your financial plans?
Do you and your partner have a superannuation scheme? What happens to the scheme if you or your partner die? Does the other partner continue to benefit from it?
If you’re making a financial plan for retirement together, will your plans be sufficient if you both live well into your eighties?
What happens if you are separated – by death or otherwise – before you reach retirement age?
Do you have life insurance, or income protection (in case you or your partner are unable to work?
If you share a mortgage, will payments be covered by mortgage or life insurance if your partner dies?
Are there debts that you are liable for?
Get independent legal advice to ensure that the plans you have in place are fair to both of you.

The New Zealand Law Society has a range of information available from their web site. The information includes:
Making a will
Estate administration and enduring powers of attorney
Buying or selling property
Living together
What happens when your marriage breaks up?
What is a trust?

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