Unlocking Trusts Webinar Series #1: Navigating Trustee Disputes: Resolving Fiduciary Conflicts

Navigating Trustee Disputes: Resolving Fiduciary Conflicts

Trust disputes are challenging and the category of inter-trustee disputes are some of the most challenging. They are potentially “trust-ending” if not handled with care and expertise. Within discretionary family trusts, clashes between co-trustees can escalate into bitter conflicts, jeopardizing the trust’s future and leaving families in turmoil that may deadlock the trust and forever fracture family relationships. Beneficiaries caught in the cross-fire face the depletion of trust funds due to legal costs.

How can you spot the common triggers and warning signs of trustee disputes? What strategies effectively mitigate risks and prevent litigation? How do trustees balance fiduciary duties with personal interests, particularly when they are beneficiaries themselves? Can Memorandum of Wishes offer assistance and to what extent?  What recourse do lawyers have once litigation ensues? How can alternative disputes resolution, such as mediation and arbitration assist?

In this webinar, seasoned experts will address these pressing questions, offering real-world insights, citing relevant case law, and discussing effective resolution techniques. By attending, you’ll gain confidence in navigating trustee disputes and safeguarding the integrity of the trusts you advise on.

The webinar will be as interactive as possible with two dedicated Q&A sessions.

Who Should Attend?

Those practising in the areas of trusts and estates, and private client work as well as general practitioners.

  • Gain insights into the latest trust law developments and their impact on trustee responsibilities and disputes.
  • Recognise common triggers and early signs of trustee disputes to prevent deadlock situations.
  • Discover strategies to minimise risks and avoid costly litigation through proactive conflict management and communication.
  • Understand removal & appointment stoushes and their implications.
  • Understand the implications of deadlocked trusts and how to involve the court effectively.
  • Learn strategies to manage and minimise litigation expenses.
  • Benefit from sample applications for directions, and other practical checklists to manage trustee disputes effectively. 
  • Learn from real-life examples and case studies that illustrate successful conflict resolution strategies and best practices.


Theresa Donnelly
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Theresa graduated from Auckland University in 1992 and has a wealth of experience in Elder Law and Trust-related matters.

Theresa was formerly from Public Trust (Senior Solicitor and Team Leader) and the Ministry of Social Development where she was lead Senior in the Public Law Team, working with Parliamentary Counsel, Older People's Policy and the Office of Senior Citizens.

Theresa worked on the 2017 changes to the EPA forms.

She is a regular presenter to professional groups such as The Law Association, NZLS, CCH, STEP, and Legalwise, and is known for her practical approach.

Henry Stokes
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Henry was appointed General Counsel in 2019. He brings significant fiduciary expertise with considerable experience as in-house counsel in trustee companies and also time in private practice.

Henry is an expert in the trusts and estates field and is a regular presenter for the legal profession's continuing legal education seminars, as well as media interviews for trust, estates and wills related matters. He has experience in all facets of the process from the preparation and implementation stages through to disputes, claims and proceedings, having appeared in the Family and High Courts as well as the Court of Appeal. 

Henry is responsible for Perpetual Guardian's Legal Team as well as being a significant contributor to their Senior Leadership Team and brings experience in leadership, team transformation and productivity and process improvement. 

Henry considers his greatest achievement in life to be his two daughters.



Pricing Details

Ticket Price

Member: $190 GST

Non-Member: $270 GST


Registration Close Date