P06 368 9239

Go Back

Services included

  • Trust Management:
  • Annual Meetings
  • Gifting
  • Trust Deed Review
  • Trusts Act 2019 Compliance
  • Appointment/Retirement of Trustees
  • Distributions
  • Trust Wind-Up

With the Trusts Act 2019 coming into full force, essential trust management is vital. We're here to help.

New Zealand has the largest number of trusts per capita anywhere in the developed World. They have always played a major part in the lifeblood of New Zealand's economy. With this in mind, the new Trusts Act 2019 (the “Act”) came into full force and effect on January 30, 2021, becoming the first major change to trusts law in over sixty years.

What most people may not realise is that the Act applies to all trusts in New Zealand, even those which existed beforehand and imposes new default duties on every trustee, regardless whether your Trust owns your family home, or a range of other assets.

Did you know that, if your family home is held in trust, simply living in your family home without paying rent to the trust could be a breach of some of these duties? This is one of the many reasons why essential trust management is now vital if you intend for your trust to provide the same level of protection as when it was first formed.

Our Trusts team has a combined wealth of experience around everything to do with Trusts and we are able to assist you with any aspect of managing your trust — from arranging your annual gifting, to a fully in-depth review of your trust deed and preparing a deed of variation specifically made for your trust to ensure compliance with the Act.

We can also assist with changing the trustees of your trust, or winding it up should you decide it is no longer suitable for purpose. We understand how important trusts are in New Zealand, and where we can, we will work with you to ensure you have the confidence that your trust is fully suitable for you moving forward.

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!

Hannah Wood


P06 366 0173

Hi, I'm Hannah.
I'm a Director and I specialise in Commercial, Conveyancing, General Law, Property, Property Developments, Rural and Trusts.

Note: currently Hannah Wood is on maternity leave.

Hannah joined CS Law in 2012 after graduation from Victoria University of Wellington, graduating in law and science, majoring in chemistry. As a student she enjoyed traveling overseas and has spent time living in a foreign country.

Hannah’s area of practice includes commercial law and general law. She is also the team leader of the Trust Management Team and the Conveyancing Team.

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.

Joseph Chagger


P06 825 9230


Hi, I'm Joseph.
I'm a Solicitor and I specialise in Property and Trusts.

Joseph rejoined CS Law in 2022 after a brief stint away in Dunedin, having previously worked for CS Law as a Solicitor, graduating from the University of Otago with an LL.B and a MusB. He is excited to be back in Levin and in the office as a member of the Property and Trusts team, mainly focusing on trust management, however he can assist on other property matters as required. Joseph regularly assists with various tasks across several teams within the office.

In his spare time Joseph is an avid rugby fan and enjoys playing guitar, cooking and watching crime documentaries. He also enjoys travelling around the Horowhenua and Manawatu regions and across New Zealand for concerts from any band from the 1980s or earlier