Our Expertise

Following are our main areas of practice, please click on the links for more information:


Trust advice
We provide advice on all aspects of trust work including opinions on legal issues relating to trusts, the administration of trusts, resettlement of trusts, variations of trusts, the interpretation of trust deeds, the duties of trustees, the rights of beneficiaries and the implications of the use of trusts in corporate, family or succession structures.

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Personal asset and tax planning
We advise on estate planning and asset ownership structures, attend to the formation of trusts, preparation of wills, memoranda of wishes and all ancillary documentation required for the establishment of a personal asset plan. We will consider the taxation implications of our client's current situation and advise on re-structuring options and the implications of those options.

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International tax planning
We provide advice in relation to the use of New Zealand trusts by non-domiciliaries and non-resident individuals. We will accept appointment as trustees, through corporate structures, of foreign trusts; and advise on the tax planning opportunities on immigration into and emigration out of New Zealand.

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Matrimonial and relationship property advice
We provide advice in relation to and prepare pre-nuptial agreements and other "contracting out" agreements under the Property (Relationships) Act 1976. We provide advice on the effect and implications of the Property (Relationships) Act on trust structures, wills and estates. We deal with claims under the Act upon the breakdown of a marriage or de facto relationship or the death of a partner or spouse.

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Business succession planning
We provide advice on appropriate structures to be implemented to ensure continuity of a business upon the death of a key individual, including buy-sell agreements and "key man" insurance.

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Investment structuring
We advise on the best structures for investment holdings, taking into account tax and other relevant issues. We also have experience and expertise in drafting and reviewing custodial agreements and investment management agreements.

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Restructuring of Trusts
We can carry out the resettlement of trust assets and act on the variation of trust instruments including those requiring court sanction.

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Independent trustee services
We act as trustees for many of our clients' trusts and provide trust administration services.

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Charities
We provide advice on and act in relation to the establishment of charitable trusts including obtaining confirmation of charitable status from tax authorities and incorporating trust boards under the Charitable Trusts Act.

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Wills
We advise on how wills should be structured and have extensive experience in drafting wills and other testamentary documents. We also provide advice on the interpretation of wills and beneficiary entitlements.

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Probate work and estate administration
We handle all aspects of estate administration, including obtaining probate and collecting, administering and distributing estate assets. We also attend to the re-sealing of foreign grants of probate in New Zealand and can obtain the re-sealing of New Zealand grants of probate overseas.

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Trust, relationship property and estate litigation and disputes
We act in litigation involving claims against trustees and executors at common law and under the Trustee Act 1956, Family Protection Act 1952, Law Reform (Testamentary Promises) Act 1949 and Wills Act 2007.  We also act in relationship property disputes under the Property (Relationsips) Act 1976 following death or a defacto or marriage breakdown, where trusts are involved.

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Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988
We act in Family Court litigation in relation to the care and protection of incapacitated persons under the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988, including applications for review if decisions of attorneys, property managers and welfare guardians, and applications for appointment of property managers and welfare guardians.

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Gifting
We manage an extensive gifting programme and have dedicated personnel and systems to implement clients' gifting requirements.

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Powers of attorney and "living wills"
We advise on and prepare powers of attorney and provide opinions on the legal issues surrounding their grant, operation and revocation. We also advise on and prepare "living wills" or advance directives, containing instructions as to future medical treatment.

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Litigation support : trust and estate claims
We can assist counsel with the running of trust and estate litigation, including discovery, assistance with interlocutories, research and provision of junior counsel.

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Superannuation
We have extensive experience in providing advice and assistance to superannuation trustees and corporate sponsors of employee superannuation schemes.

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Contact us
+64 9 920 8660
South British Insurance Company Limited Building
Level 7
3-13 Shortland Street
Auckland 1140
New Zealand