Private Wealth

Trust Disputes

Specialised legal advice for wills, trust and estate disputes

Dispute resolution for wills, trusts and estates is a key area of Hesketh Henry’s private client practice. 

Trust litigation accounts for more than 10% of all High Court litigation in New Zealand; a statistic connected to the Kiwi fondness for family trusts. You can consult our trust and estate litigation lawyers about disputes between trustees, amending trust deeds, resettling a new trust on an old trust, vesting orders, and related matters associated with updating old trusts to suit modern conditions.

If you need legal assistance related to an estate dispute, Hesketh Henry can help with expert advice that aims to resolve situations effectively with minimal stress and expense. Our wills and estates specialists can assist with contesting or challenging a will, a situation that can arise if you’ve been left out of a will and can claim through the Family Protection Act or Testamentary Promises Act. You can also consult us about disputes between beneficiaries and cases involving modifications to a will where undue influence or dementia may be a factor. Another area of our work related to wills is the validation of testamentary documents, which define last wishes but don’t meet all the requirements of a legal will.

Need advice on Trust Disputes?
Contact the expert team at Hesketh Henry.

Examples of work completed by our team include:

  • Acting for and advising private and charitable trusts in both contentious and no-contentious matters, including acting for the successful parties in the leading Court of Appeal decision on the variation of charitable trusts (Trustee of McElroy Trust v Objectors); and
  • Re Maguire (deceased) [2012] 2 NZLR 845. Defending an application by residual beneficiaries for information forming part of an estate.
Key Contacts

Insights & Opinion / Trust Disputes

Putting all your assets in trust? What can your children do about it?
The High Court holds that a fiduciary duty can be owed to adult children.
22.02.2022 Posted in Private Wealth
Trustee Meetings Key: Duty on Trustees under the Trusts Act to consider exercising their powers
The Trusts Act 2019 ("Act") comes into force on 30 January 2021 and with it comes the partial codification of trustee duties.
16.04.2020 Posted in Private Wealth
Take Care with Beneficiary Loan Accounts in Credit
It is common for family trusts to resolve that a distribution be made to beneficiaries but the actual amount paid to the beneficiaries is less than the authorised “distribution”.  In the ...
04.02.2020 Posted in Private Wealth
A trust on a trust – how strange is that?
In New Zealand we are trust crazy and owning a home in trust is common place. For many, just as for Mr Hodgkinson in Judd v Hawkes Bay Trustee Company Limited [2016] NZCA 397, the trust has been set u...
21.10.2019 Posted in Private Wealth
A Historic Section Revived
The Supreme Court decision of Clayton v Clayton has given new insight into the operation of section 182, Family Proceedings Act 1980
24.11.2016 Posted in Private Wealth
A beneficiary’s right to information – what should trustees disclose?
There have been a number of recent cases where beneficiaries have gone to court to seek information about the activities of a trust of which they are a beneficiary.  The cases have helped shed light ...
03.02.2015 Posted in Private Wealth
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