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We set up Family Trusts and we advise and assist you in administering your Trust !

We ensure that all trust documents are explained to you before you sign them, so that you understand what you are signing,  and  that you know why certain legal procedures have to be followed for Trusts.

We want to make sure that you know what to do when you run your own Trust !  We find it extremely important that we set up documents that are clear and complete, so that your chosen or replacement Trustees will know what it is that you want them to do in trust matters. This applies when you are alive and after you have died.

A Legacy letter is also a unique way of telling your dependants about the reasons for your decisions and about the events in your life, that have had an impact on how you approach problems in life, and the obstacles that you have been able to overcome.


Taking the Next Step

Who is a typical client of Sanctuary TrustLaw ?

  1. New Clients who wish to set up a Trust to protect their Assets   : Sanctuary TrustLaw provides a  Letter of Recommendation
    i)     Phase I      -   Setting up personal documents such as Trust/ Will,/Wishes
    ii)   Phase II    -   Transfer of Assets/Refinancing
    iii) Phase III   -   Resolutions with recording of personal Wishes in letters and DVD 
  2.  New Clients who already have a Trust   : Sanctuary TrustLaw does a Check Up/ Update /Review  of all documents of the new clients and gives an opinion. 
  3. Existing Clients and New Clients   :  Sanctuary TrustLaw  does a  Yearly Review Meeting  and will revise your trust affairs.

You may now want to know more about:

  • Whether the protection offered by  a family Trust applies to your circumstances ?
  • Whether you should run the Trust as a Trustee, and  whether you should you do this alone or with others?
  • What is your first step   how long does it take to set up a Trust ?
  • Which of your Assets should be placed in your Trust? 
  • How  can Sanctuary TrustLaw assist  in the running of your Trust?

We will do our best to provide you  with outstanding service now and  in the future, as we meet yearly for Reviews, Gifting, Minutekeeping  and Trust seminars.


The Legacy Letter and Life Story Book


This is a letter  from the Settlor of the Family trust to the beneficiaries of that Trust.  It  is  meant to impart some key lessons that  the Settlor has learnt  during his or her life.  It can also contain a little of that person's life philosophy. The Settlor shares this with members of his family in the hope that they will find it useful as a guide in their own lives.

 This way is chosen to make your  Beneficiaries aware of  your hopes and dreams, your passions and plans. You can even guide them with some pearls of your wisdom. The Legacy Letter is a unique way, which is chosen by this office to give even greater depth to your Family Trust. It is done to honour the fact that you have set up a legal entity which normally has a life span of eighty ( 80 ) years !   It seems obvious to the writer that you should have some means to tell your Beneficiaries more than just the rules for operating  your  Family Trust.  The Legacy Letter and a DVD recording supporting that, seem to be appropriate for doing that. 

This is a unique way for a trust lawyer to allow his clients to give some personal input into the trust formation. It can change the  process of the setting up of a trust into a true collaboration between client and lawyer. Each of the parties can give a substantial  input and make the Deed of Trust  a truly valuable  document for that family. 

My considerable experience in setting up Family Trusts over many years has left me with  some regret.  I realize that  I have set up  an enduring legal entity of potential lasting and great value for many families. ( 80 years),  and  I find it a pity  that I have  initially missed the opportunity to record  why the Settlors of many  of my Trusts have decided to form their Trust in their particular circumstances.   Off course I know their valid reasons for using a Trust to protect their assets. We know very little if anything  however, about their motivation to do so.  About 10 years ago I started, to videotape the presentation ceremony of almost everyone of my Trusts, to give it more depth, and to let Settlors convey a personal message. 

The Legacy Letter now completes that attempt to allow the Settlors  to express themselves in a unique and personal way.

You will be surprised at how pleasant this part of the  Trust setup at Sanctuary TrustLaw can be, when you are guided through it by Christine, my friendly and knowledgeable assistant in these matters.

Often it can be a short tour of self discovery by the Settlors, who come to realize the importance of their actions to form a Trust for themselves and their family. They are also faced with their immediate and distant past and the events and actions that  have changed their lives. Most important of all they get to record, what it is exactly that has motivated them during their lives, and why that is important for them in forming their Trust. It is a truly unique way, in which we are able to give some meaning to our lives, where much consists of fast consumption, as little input as possible, and preferably no consequence for the parties  concerned.

I do realize that this all seems quite new and different to most of you, and perhaps also seems a bit of a challenge. I can guarantee you however, that  Christine will guide you through these issues ,and make it enjoyable at the same time. In fact some of my clients are so inspired by it, that they go on to record a legacy of their lives in book form. called their Life Story Book  




Some of our clients who set up Family Trusts, realize that the instructions they are leaving to Trustees in the recorded documents are useful, but perhaps not enough to tell the story of their lives.

Many of us believe that we have little to tell about our lives. We do not realize the great loss to our children and other descendants , who may want to know more about their roots as they seek to come to terms with their own place in life or as they grow older themselves.  When a grandparent who was the Settlor of their Trust dies , the grandchildren are often left wondering about the lives of those Settlors and what motivated them. They seek to know more details about those lives. They want to know the origins and their exploits. They wish to know more about their triumphs and failures, and the hardships and successes of their forebears. It may give them perspective when they are dealing with problems in their own lives, and guide and eventually strengthen them in their own battles.

Our Christine is experienced in recording such information in book form and will gladly provide you with more information and an estimate of costs connected to this.






At present and to my knowledge, we are the only law office in New Zealand  which places emphasis on this important aspect of your Family Trust. We hope that other legal professionals in the field of Trust Law will follow our example, and attend to this area of importance to trust clients. We are happy to share our experience in these matters with anyone who wishes to contact  SANCTUARY TRUSTLAW.

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