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Private Client and Trusts

Helping New Zealanders to preserve their assets for their own benefit and for loved ones in the future is an important part of our service offering. We provide pragmatic advice to our clients based around a clear understanding of their objectives and challenges.

Equally important is advising individuals who intend to move to New Zealand to live, whether as new migrants or returning residents, particularly on tax and relationship property issues.

We also provide tax and trust law advice to New Zealand trusts (both private and charitable) and international trusts which have a connection to New Zealand.

Our team includes specialists in tax, trusts, wills, estate administration, family law and real estate.

New Zealand residents

Our service includes advising on matters including:

  • Trusts - establishment, review, resettlement, variations and vesting
  • Wills - complex drafting and advice
  • Estate administration - complex applications for grants of probate and letters of administration for both New Zealand wills and foreign wills
  • Powers of attorney - enduring, general and specific
  • Relationship property - advice and contracting out agreements
  • Gifting - advice post the abolishment of gift duty
  • Retirement villages - advice on occupation right agreements
  • Residential care - advice on eligibility for government subsidies and government loans.

Our trust expertise includes trust establishment, administration, review, restructure, and distribution. Our specialists work closely with our tax experts where necessary to ensure that New Zealand trust structures are tax-efficient.

We have in-depth experience in dealing with the Family Protection Act, the Law Reform (Testamentary Promises) Act, and the Property (Relationships) Act and their impact on wills and estates. Should any contentious issues arise, our lawyers work with our litigation experts to achieve the best possible outcome.

Non-New Zealand residents and international trusts

Our tax specialists are experienced in advising non-New Zealand resident individuals and international trusts on the New Zealand implications of investing in, migrating to or having a presence in New Zealand.


  • Exemption from New Zealand tax for new and some returning residents on most offshore income (for a period of 4 years).
  • Use of pre-migration asset protection trusts for high net worth individuals.
  • Application of New Zealand’s Controlled Foreign Company (CFC) and Foreign Investment Fund (FIF) rules to the investment in offshore companies and funds.
  • Offshore pensions and annuities.
  • Investing in New Zealand while remaining non-resident.

International trusts

  • Exemption from NZ tax for offshore income derived by international trusts.
  • Disclosure requirements for international trusts where a New Zealand resident trustee is appointed.
  • Distributions to New Zealand resident and non-resident beneficiaries.
  • Reviewing, preparing and interpreting trust instruments.

We work regularly with our clients’ offshore advisors to ensure that all cross-border tax and legal considerations are taken into account.  This is the case whether an individual is intending to live in New Zealand while retaining significant assets offshore (such as ownership of companies incorporated in the US or elsewhere) or remaining offshore while investing in New Zealand (such as by establishing an agriculture farming operation in New Zealand).

Our expertise extends to advising on the New Zealand tax implications for New Zealand -based recipients of foundations established in various civil law jurisdictions.

Charitable trusts

Our tax practice includes considerable expertise in the not-for-profit-sector. We advise and assist on the establishment and administration of charitable trusts, charitable status, compliance with the Charities Act, and tax concession issues.