Estate Lawyers

Estate lawyer AucklandOur estate lawyers will gently guide you through the estate administration process. Experiencing the loss of a loved one is never easy, and negotiating the legal issues can make bereavement even harder.  Our experienced estate lawyers and administrators can explain your responsibilities and liabilities, obtain formal administration (Probate or Letters of Administration) from the High Court where required, bringing in the assets, pay any estate debts, file tax returns and distribute the estate assets to the beneficiaries.

You need someone to negotiate on your behalf and guide you through the process with compassion.  Our estates team has a wealth of experience, and approaches each case with the attention and sensitivity you deserve.Our years of experience means that we can deal with complicated estates (and simple ones!) with ease, including assistance with defending or making an estate claim.


Estate Administration

If you are an executor our estates team can help you understand your responsibilities and legal liabilities. We can advise you on tax obligations and estate claim liability and assist you to bring in the assets of the estate, pay the debts of estate, advise on estate tax obligations and when and how to distribute the estate.  We can assist with the formal legal processes required, the day to day tasks and then distribute the estate in accordance with the Will or according to the Administration Act.

  • Advising executors on role and responsibilities
  • Applications for Probate
  • Applications for Letters of Administration (Where there is no will)
  • Administration documentation
  • Bringing in the assets of the estate
  • Dealing with Estate Claim Liabilities
  • Liaising with banks, investment companies and insurance companies
  • Paying estate debts
  • Transferring jointly held assets to the survivor(s)
  • Filing tax returns for the estate and the deceased person
  • Distribution of an estate


In New Zealand, probate will be required if the deceased had a valid will and held significant assets in his or her own name worth more than $15,000, such as land bank accounts investments, shares or life insurance.  Obtaining Probate is the process of proving the will to the High Court and having the Will formally accepted as the last Will. Our skilled estate law team can ensure that this process goes as smoothly as possible, allowing the executors to get on with administering the estate.

  • Preparing for Probate
  • Filing for Probate with the High Court


Intestate Estates

When there is no Will, the estate is administered according to the Administration Act (1969) and it will be necessary to apply for Letters of Administration .  Our skilled estates team can help you understand who has the right to apply to be appointed the administrator and can prepare all the necessary documentation required for the application for a grant of Letters of Administration. 

Once Letters of Administration have been granted, we will then advise the administrator as to how the estate must be distributed to the beneficiaries which is specified in the Administration Act.


Estate Litigation

If you want to challenge or contest a Will, or you need to defend a claim against an estate, you need experienced estate litgation lawyers who understand not only the law as it is written, but how case law affects how a judge would interpret the law.  Our skilled and highly experienced estate litigation lawyers can guide you through the process, explain the merits of your case, likely outcomes, the risks involved and what your options are.  Whether you choose to settle through mediation or battle it out in court, our skilled legal team will ensure that you achieve the best possible outcome.

  • Incapacity of Testator (Testamentary capacity claims)
  • Claims by adopted children
  • Claims by estranged children
  • Family Protection Claims
  • Relationship Property Claims
  • Testamentary Promises Claims


mimi lewellhead
Mimi Lewell
Estates Administrator
p. +64 9 837 6831
Carolyn RansonHead
Carolyn Ranson
p. +64 9 837 6891