P06 368 9239

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Services included

  • Estate Administration and Winding-Up
  • Probate of Will
  • Letters of Administration – no Will
  • Small Estate management
  • Transmissions by Survivorship
  • Claims against Estates
  • Deeds of Family Arrangement

When somebody close to you passes away, you'll likely be dealing with a lot of overwhelming emotions, and trying to navigate the unexpected.

Our experienced Estates team will guide you through everything, from organising the funeral, dealing with the Estate and all the legal processes that have to be worked, through to distribution of the estate to the beneficiaries.

Some estates can be dealt with using the small estates procedure. Most estates will require a “grant of administration” from the Court. We deal with applications for probate (if there is a Will), or letters of administration (if there is not a Will) as well as assisting the executor/s named in the Will to carry out all terms. If there is no Will, we assist the administrator appointed by the court to deal with assets in accordance with the law.

We understand how overwhelming the process of administering an estate can be and we are here to make the process as stress free as possible.

Meet the team

I’m interested in a certain expert

Doug Rowan - CSLaw

Doug Rowan


P06 366 0171

Hi, I'm Doug.
I'm a Director and I specialise in Commercial, Estates, General Law, Relationship Property, Rural and Trusts.

Doug joined CS Law in 1996 after graduating from Victoria University with an LLB, BA and a BA (Philosophy). Doug is the first Director of CS Law after Cullinane Steele incorporated having become a partner in 2003.

Doug practices in the areas of commercial and property law, trusts, wills, estates and relationship property specialising in business transactions, commercial lending and advice on asset protection and business structures. Having grown up on a dairy farm Doug has a particular interest in rural transactions.

Doug is married to Hannah and has two teenage daughters. He is the Chair of Te Hinaki Education Trust and is passionate about improving educational outcomes for all children in Horowhenua.

He values the role Christian faith has in his life and in his spare time he is a keen Cricket and Rugby fan, enjoys a good bike ride and relaxing with a book or the paper!

Frances Shaw

LL.B (Hons)

P06 366 0026

Hi, I'm Frances.
I'm an Associate and I specialise in Estates, General Law and Trusts.

Frances joined CS Law in November 2017 after previously working at National Australia Bank, Russell McVeagh, Westpac and in the family business.

Frances graduated LL.B (Hons) from the University of Auckland.

Frances has come back to live in Palmerston North after twenty years living in Singapore and the UK and has two adult daughters.

In her spare time she enjoys gardening, dog-walking and the gym.

Sarah Steer


P06 366 0002

Hi, I'm Sarah.
I'm a Solicitor and I specialise in Estates

Sarah joined CS Law in 2020 and works in the Estates Team.

Sarah graduated from Victoria University with a LLB and a BA majoring in English Literature and History. After working in the Community Law sector Sarah accompanied her husband to North Carolina where she worked in Intellectual Property before starting a family. Sarah later spent time in Singapore before returning to New Zealand with her family to live in Palmerston North.

During her time in Palmerston North Sarah has been involved with her four children’s kindergarten and school communities and has enjoyed teaching music to young children and being involved in her church community. In her spare time Sarah can often be found watching her children play sport, gardening or reading a good book.

Helen Sharpe

P06 366 0177

Hi, I'm Helen.
I'm a Registered Legal Executive and I specialise in Estates

Helen is an integral part of our Estate Administration Team and attends to all aspects of this area of law. She is also proficient in residential property transactions and can assist you with any enquiries you may have.

Helen began her legal career in 1988 as a Legal Secretary in a Wellington law firm. Helen also studied to become a Legal Executive for which she qualified in 1999. In April 2012 Helen joined the team at CS Law.

Helen is a Fellow member of the New Zealand Institute of Legal Executives and an Associate member of the New Zealand Law Society.

In her spare time Helen enjoys spending time with family and friends and working on her property.

Heather Hutchison


P06 368 9239

Hi, I'm Heather.
I'm a Registered Legal Executive and I specialise in Estates

Heather joined CS Law in September 2020 after spending 18 years working in various administration roles in the Real Estate industry in Auckland and Levin. Heather completed her Legal Executive Diploma in 2023 and has experience in property and estates. Currently Heather is working as a Registered Legal Executive in our Estates Team.

In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her two children and relaxing with family and friends.