Fleur McDonald Legal

Based in central Christchurch premises, Fleur will arrange appointments either at her office or in your own home or at a location in or around Christchurch or Canterbury that best suits you.

My "Why" is to provide my clients with legal solutions with H.E.A.R.T. "Honesty, Empathy, Accountability, Respect, and Trust"

After nearly 15 years at two Christchurch firm's, Fleur has made the decision to establish her own practice, Fleur McDonald Lawyer. She has established herself as an Elder Law specialist and industry leader of the area of Elderly Services and Seniors law. Fleur deals with all areas of property, asset protection and estate planning with a particular specialty in helping seniors and their families. Typical solutions for Fleur’s clients involve the use of specialist Wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney to ensure the smooth management of personal and property affairs, and for her senior clients, ownership structures designed specifically as they move into retirement living. Fleur has an engaging and caring personality and ensures she listens to her clients before formulating solutions. Her experience and knowledge in the Elder Law area is second to none and her commitment to finding the best results for all her clients is nothing short of impressive.

Operating as usual

What If One Person is Living In Aged Care and One Person Is Living In The Community?

How are your assets defined by Work & Income if one of you is living in the community and your partner or, significant other is living in aged care?

How assets are viewed is often not a 'one solution for all' type of scenario - Watch this video as I explain:

Asset threshold

One of the key things to understand is - how Work and Income view your assets if you're looking to get the Residential Care Subsidy.

A home is where you live or reside and your asset threshold will be dictated by that.

Watch this short video as I give an explanation.

Find Out About Residential Care Subsidies

The world of Residential Care Subsidies are often difficult to understand and often change.

Find out more about exactly what is on offer $$$ wise when you need to access the Care Subsidies.

I will be away from the office from 2 pm on Wednesday, 23 September, to attend a funeral, and will be back in the office on Friday, 25 September 2020.
I will have limited ability to check email and telephone messages during that time so would ask that you please bear with me. I will respond to you as soon as I am able on Friday.
If your query is urgent, please don't hesitate to contact Caitlin on [email protected].
Thank you for your patience.
Kind regards
Fleur McDonald

Going Into Residential Care

As you know, I'm extremely passionate about Elder Law and the all the little small things that make a big difference for our elderly.

This is just a wee snippet video about the Residential Care Subsidy and what it means for us in New Zealand.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I will be out of the office on Friday 11 September and on Monday 14 September I will be working from home as usual. I ask that clients please bear with me and if you leave me a message which I cannot deal with whilst away, I will get back to you on Monday. I will be back in the office on Tuesday 15 September. Many thanks, Fleur McDonald

Fleur McDonald Legal's cover photo

Friday funny! Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Good friends and great clients make it all worth while.
Thank you to Kristy O’Connor and David Houston, at Weston Ward Lascelles, and Jan Berry, one of my favourite clients, for the beautiful flowers to celebrate my new space. 🤩

First day in the new office - I’m not quite in the right place yet, but the waiting area is sorted!!
Super grateful for family, especially Brent, and great friends like Jason Renfree and Kirk Mangos for getting it sorted for me.

It’s getting closer!! 🤩

Introducing Caitlin Stockman!
Many of you will have had the pleasure of working with Caitlin already but for those of you who haven't, let me introduce you to my fabulous Legal Executive, Caitlin Stockman.
Caitlin and I have worked together previously and her kind nature, work ethic and professionalism are traits I knew I wanted for my business so I was delighted that Caitlin agreed to join my team in March this year.
Our timing wasn't fabulous as Caitlin joined me two weeks before the COVID-19 Level 4 lock-down but we've managed to work through it together and I am very grateful for all the hard work Caitlin puts into my business both then and now.
If you have a query, don't hesitate to contact Caitlin on [email protected].
Welcome Caitlin! I am so delighted to have you as part of my team!

The school holidays are here again. Over the next two weeks I'll be juggling parenting and working so my hours have changed slightly.
I'll be working from the office on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and working from home on Monday and Wednesday for both weeks of the holidays. I'll be back to my normal hours on Monday, 20 July 2020.
If you'd like to make an appointment, the best thing to do is email me on [email protected] or Caitlin on [email protected] or you can call me on 03 423 3541.
As some of you have experienced, our coverage at home isn't great but if you leave me a message, I will come back to you.


Be alert to elder abuse and speak up - Eldernet Gazette

Monday, June 15, marks World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the first day of a week-long awareness campaign being run in the Eldernet Gazette.

eldernet.co.nz Elder abuse can be psychological, financial, physical or sexual. It affects both men and women. It o

As you know, we're back in our city office now that we're at Level 1, but we've made a few changes.
For the immediate future Fleur will be working from home on a Monday. This enables Fleur to be at home for her daughter on both Monday and Tuesday afternoons.
As many of you have experienced, Fleur's phone coverage at her home in North Canterbury isn't always great so, if possible, please email her and she will come back to you as quickly as she can.
The rest of the week Fleur will be in her office from 9.30 am and, if you need an appointment after 5 pm, Fleur may be able to help you on a Thursday evening.
Email Fleur on [email protected] or Caitlin on [email protected] or call Fleur on 03 423 3541.

Happy Easter!
Fleur McDonald Legal will be closed over the Easter weekend. Caitlin and I will be back in our virtual offices on Wednesday, 15 April 2020, and look forward to being in contact with you then.
We wish you, and everyone in your bubbles, a safe and happy Easter weekend.
Take care and stay safe!
Fleur and Caitlin

I hope you’re all doing as well as can be expected on day 1 of the Covid-19 Level 4 lockdown.
My family and I have had a quiet day at home, we’ve been on a bike ride, spent some time at home together and, importantly apart! 😉
So far we’re doing okay but I’m sure there will be bumps on the road as we get further into this.
Like you, we’ll try to stay connected with clients, family and friends using phones, texts, email and Zoom, although I haven’t quite got my head around that as yet.
If you need to contact me, please email me ([email protected]) or phone me on my mobile (0212228494), although the coverage out here isn’t always that great. Leave a message and I will come back to you.
Take care and stay safe.

[03/23/20]   Yesterday’s announcements have, understandably, led to many questions concerning whether and how settlements can proceed when the country is in COVID-19 alert Level 4.

The New Zealand Law Society | Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa, and the Property Law Section in particular, acknowledges the very real and practical problem now where clients are unable to give vacant possession, even if they are ‘ready willing and able to settle’ in all other respects. The Executive Committee is evaluating the options available to lawyers and their clients, and it is aiming to publish guidance to the profession in the next 24-36 hours.

I will update you as soon as I am able to.

[03/22/20]   Covid-19 Update from Fleur McDonald Legal March 2020
A message to our valued clients and contacts

At what is a challenging time for all of us, the team at Fleur McDonald Legal want to assure you that we are absolutely committed to continuing to provide you with the same high level of service which you have come to expect from us.
As much as possible we are trying to continue to conduct business as usual whilst saying absolutely up-to-date with all developments issued by the Government and the Ministry of Health. The situation with regard to the Covid-19 is one which is evolving on a daily basis. We are acutely aware of the health and safety of our staff, you, our clients, and everyone we deal with at Fleur McDonald Legal.
Our offices remain open, however, as the safety of our staff and clients are paramount to us, we are investigating conducting meetings by Skype, Zoom, Facebook messenger or Facetime.
We are actively taking steps to follow all recommended procedures and guidelines and reviewing this regularly. In particular, we are taking the following steps:
• for your benefit and ours we are restricting physical contact so please don't be offended if we don't offer to shake your hand
• any of our staff who are unwell or display any possible symptoms will be asked to stay home
• as much as is practicable, physical distancing is being observed within our office
• although in short supply, we have hand sanitiser available in our office
• we are carrying out additional cleaning of high touch surfaces such as telephones, meeting room tables and door handles
• we have updated our email sign off to request that you do not attend our offices if you feel unwell, have had contact with anyone who potentially has the coronavirus, have recently visited an overseas location known to have cases of coronavirus or have been in contact with someone known to have recently visited an overseas location known to have cases of the virus
If for any reason a meeting conducted by electronic media is not practical and a meeting in person is required, please do not take offence if we enquire about your health, any recent travel you may have undertaken or if you have had contact with anyone who has recently returned from overseas prior to the meeting.
In the event that there is a government directive that workplaces be locked down or should any of our team be required to self isolate and work from home, we are taking steps to ensure that we are all able to do so and continue to provide you with excellent service from home. In those circumstances, meetings via electronic media would be the only viable option.
We will update you as more information comes to hand. We wish you all well during this challenging time. Stay safe.


Coronavirus: Rest homes, retirement villages plead for national aged care response plan

Our seniors have a greater risk of a more serious reaction to Coronavirus or Covid-19, so a well thought-out and coordinated response for our aged care / retirement villages sectors seems imminently sensible to me.

What are your thoughts? Do we need a more considered approach for these sectors of our communities?

nzherald.co.nz Aged care sector says it's 'frustrated ' at the lack of response from government, DHBs.

[01/13/20]   Welcome to 2020!
What are you looking forward to in 2020?
I'm looking forward to the myriad of opportunities to grow personally and professionally over the next 12 months.
BUT our lovely daughter isn't back at school until the first week of February 2020 so please bear with me over the next 3 weeks as I do my best to juggle being a parent and working.
If you'd like to make an appointment, the best thing to do is email me on [email protected]. Otherwise give me a call, I may not be able to take your call straight away but I will come back to you.
I'm looking forward to working with you all in 2020.

Fleur McDonald Legal's cover photo

[12/31/19]   As the year draws to a close I find myself looking back at the highs, and lows, of 2019 and trying to find the right words to share with you all.
Personally and professionally 2019 has been tough. It’s also been incredibly rewarding. Loads has changed but the important things remain constant.
My family have anchored me when I have been uncertain and supported me to make the changes I needed to make in order to grow and evolve and I am beyond grateful.
But there wouldn’t be much point if it weren’t for you, my clients. To all of you who have followed me, your faith in me is humbling.
For those of you who have just met me - I look forward to working with you in 2020.
Thank you all for coming on this journey with me.
My best to you all for a safe, happy New Year!!

I had my first settlements in my new business last Friday. That happened because of two great ladies. Rebecca Taiaroa (Mortgage Link North Canterbury) and Ro Gravestone (Westpac).
To top it off, Ro sent me these beautiful flowers!
Those are the things that keep you going when you’re not sure what bit to do next.
Thanks so much Ro and Rebecca 🤩


The cost of the Kiwi 'no fuss' attitude towards funerals is counted in many ways

Recently my whole family came together to celebrate my sister’s wedding. A wedding is about as far removed from the topic of funerals as you can get and yet, because my family are scattered across the globe, and our parents aren’t getting any younger, it was the perfect opportunity for us to come together and talk about what our parents want us to do when they die.
Not wanting to make a fuss or for “it” to cost too much was a real theme from both of my parents but for my siblings and I, being able to celebrate their lives was much more important.
What I can tell you for certain is that it was hugely beneficial that we were all in the same place, at the same time, hearing the same things straight from the horses mouths!
My best advice - start a conversation with your family members now about what’s important to them when they die.

stuff.co.nz The common request, albeit a very Kiwi one, when talking about funerals can come with hidden consequences.

[09/28/19]   At the September 2019 LANZ Conference and my part in the proceedings is done. My presentation on Enduring Powers of Attorney was first up this morning so great to be able to relax and enjoy the conference for the rest of the afternoon.
Thanks to the Board at LANZ for the opportunity to speak to your members!


Office for Seniors New Zealand

Could co-living be an option for seniors in New Zealand? What are your thoughts?

Interest in co-living for older people has risen as property rates in many areas around the world have skyrocketed along with the ageing population.


Govt agency hits out at 'confusing' retirement village contracts, saying not even lawyers can understand them

Many clients who are contemplating a move to a Retirement Village with a continuum of care don’t appreciate the difference between making a choice to move to retirement care and having to make a move to Residential Care if their needs change.
That’s why sound legal advice from someone who can explain the differences is so important.
If you’d like to discuss your circumstances, don’t hesitate to contact me.

nzherald.co.nz The watchdog is worried that retirees don't know what they're signing up for.


Elder abuse 'rampant' and 'all-hidden' in New Zealand

Like all abuse, elder abuse is under reported. If you are concerned about an elderly neighbour, friend of family, please contact your local Age Concern for advice.


stuff.co.nz Age Concern calls for awareness on the hidden epidemic of elder abuse.

Fleur McDonald Legal's cover photo


'Be kind' - simple message from Minister for Seniors ahead of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

A simple apolitical message we all too often ignore in our crazy busy lives.

#bekind #beaware #elderabuseisnotokay

tvnz.co.nz Tracey Martin told Breakfast, “take some time to listen to an older person”.

Office for Seniors New Zealand

One of the things I love about working with seniors is spending time with them. Hearing their stories. Getting to share a little bit of their journey.
It is unthinkable to me that some seniors do not feel safe.
That they feel they no longer have control of their lives.
That they have been isolated from their friends and communities.
That many are physically, emotionally, mentally and financially abused.
That their abusers are often family members.
Abuse in any form, including elder abuse, is not okay.

This isn’t ok. Watch to see what’s happening to thousands of older Kiwis.


Forgot to Thank Him | People Who Thank the Bus Driver

Forget to thank the bus driver? Not my average client!

knowyourmeme.com See more 'People Who Thank the Bus Driver' images on Know Your Meme!


Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Development v Broadbent — Courts of New Zealand

In a landmark decision, the Court of Appeal in New Zealand has declined an appeal by the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Development against a decision in the High Court.

The effect of the decision is to deprive the MSD of the ability to make a notional income assessment on assets validly and properly gifted to an individual or a Family Trust. In the case of Mrs Broadbent, the MSD had held that in gifting assets to her trust, herself and her late husband had deprived themselves of assets which should have been available to them to earn income from, and thus, assessed a notional income.

The Court of Appeal has ruled in favour of Mrs Broadbent in stating that once you have disposed of an asset there is no ability fo the MSD to attribute notional income when assessing your eligibility for a Residential Care Subsidy. This is good news for those who have been gifting debt over time at the rate allowed by the MSD.

For more information on Residential Care Subsidies and how this landmark decision might affect you or a family member or loved one contact me for a no obligation chat.

courtsofnz.govt.nz Mrs Broadbent applied to the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Development (the Chief Executive) for an additional subsidy to reduce her contribution to the cost of her residential care. The Chief Executive conducted a means assessment and found that Mrs Broadbent did not qualify for this ad...

At the heart of what matters

After nearly 15 years at two Christchurch firm's, Fleur made the decision to establish her own practice, Fleur McDonald Legal. She has established herself as a specialist and industry leader in the area of Elder Law. Fleur deals with all areas of property, asset protection and estate planning with a particular specialty in helping seniors and their families find peace of mind legal solutions. Typical solutions for Fleur’s clients involve the use of specialist Wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney, to ensure the smooth management of personal and property affairs, and, for her senior clients, ownership structures designed specifically for them as they move into retirement living or long-term residential care.

Fleur has an engaging and caring personality and ensures she listens to her clients before formulating solutions. Her experience and knowledge in the Elder Law area is second to none and her commitment to finding the best results for all her clients is at the heart of her service. Her intention is to bring a new focus to the provision of legal services in Christchurch by conducting client appointments that suit her clients needs either in her central city office, their family home or at a prearranged meeting place in Christchurch, Kaiapoi or Rangiora.

The by-line says it all, Fleur McDonald Legal “at the heart of what matters.”

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Videos (show all)

What If One Person is Living In Aged Care and One Person Is Living In The Community?
Asset threshold
Find Out About Residential Care Subsidies
Going Into Residential Care



146 Bealey Avenue

Opening Hours

Tuesday 09:30 - 14:30
Wednesday 09:30 - 17:00
Thursday 09:30 - 18:00
Friday 09:30 - 17:00
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