Christchurch: CBD – (03) 379 7690 | Ferrymead – (03) 940 2435 | Hornby – (03) 349 5111

Wills and Estates

A will, enduring powers of attorney or the administration of an estate can be straightforward or complex. Our compassionate team at Saunders & Co has extensive experience in all aspects of elder law and estate planning and administration. We take a forward-thinking approach to ensure the minimising of stress and delays for family members left behind.

The strength comes from having a well-crafted will which ensures the client’s wishes are recorded correctly and can be carried out in accordance with their intentions.

We also assist people to understand their legal obligations if they have been named as an administrator or executor of a will, and can advise beneficiaries or potential beneficiaries of an estate.

Our Estates team can also discuss Enduring Powers of Attorney to help clients protect their personal and property rights while they are still alive.

We provide an effective, empathetic service and are always happy to discuss matters during office hours. Please feel free to call one of our team.

Our wills and estates services include:

  • Review of existing wills
  • Preparation of wills
  • Online wills
  • Enduring powers of attorney
  • Online enduring powers of attorney
  • Estate administration
  • Family protection
  • Succession planning

Get further advice from

Ben Frampton


Direct dial: +64 3 963 1454
Mobile 027 535 4616
Assistant: Jenny Shearer

I have served all of my law career at Saunders & Co, joining the firm in 1980 and becoming a partner in 1985. During this time I have enjoyed being part of the firm’s steady growth and working with a great team of people.

Law is somewhat of a family tradition, my father served as a Christchurch lawyer and later as a District Court Judge. Before I decided to study and practise law, I had a brief career as a mathematics teacher in Auckland.

I enjoy the general nature of my work which is mainly with private clients dealing with property transactions, family trusts, general administration, wills and estates, along with providing legal advice. I like to meet clients in person at the start of the process in order to develop a good understanding of their needs and take great satisfaction in achieving their desired results.

Outside work, I enjoy giving back to numerous community and charitable organisations and clubs in both a professional and voluntary capacity. I am a trustee of the New Zealand Mathematics Enrichment Trust, on the board of the Christchurch Golf Club, a treasurer of Burnside Park Tennis Club and a life member of Crockford’s Bridge Club of which I am a former president and treasurer.

I specialise in the following areas:

What My Clients Say

“I first used Ben Frampton, of Saunders & Co, for my first property purchase back in 1994. Ben has looked after our affairs since then, which have included more property dealings. Ben’s work included resolving some curly issues around a property investment in Lyttleton in 2006 (land purchase and building contract). We were impressed at how he handled things without hesitation or fuss. Another example concerned a house building dispute. Ben’s assistance resulted in the house build being completed, with the ownership being transferred to us, without prejudice to our claims. This meant we minimised any accommodation inconvenience, preserved our legal position, and saved money. Ben’s calm demeanour, consistent communication style, and professional approach have left us stress free, and with total confidence in him. You hear stories of disputes once lawyers get involved, racking up costs, with taxi tariff charging styles for the likes of making phone calls and sending faxes. This has never been the case with Ben, and the fees charged have been more than fair considering the multiple dealings he has often had to undertake on our behalf. We have been, and still are, overseas-based. Ben takes this into account in his communication. He is always thorough in contacting us, explaining issues and receiving our input, before taking action. The staff members at Saunders & Co have always provided good and pleasant service to us.”
Stephen and Lesley Clark, Australia


“I have known Ben Frampton personally for almost 20 years, and over that time I have been made aware of his very solid reputation for sound advice, reliability and proficiency as a legal advisor. Latterly, as President of The Burnside Park Tennis Club, I have had the pleasure of working alongside Ben in his role as Club solicitor. His advice is always knowledgeable and efficient, and has been the cornerstone of many important decisions, often in areas which have been sensitive and crucial to the Club’s well-being. Ben is highly respected for his integrity and his objective assessment of emerging issues, and the Club is extremely grateful for his readily available expertise. My own confidence in Ben is such that he is also our family solicitor. I have no hesitation in recommending him to others.”
John Campbell, President, Burnside Park Tennis Club and Chairman, The Sir Richard Hadlee Sports Trust Christchurch


“Saunders & Co has handled Annette’s and my legal work from the time we purchased our first home in 1978. Ben Frampton has handled a number of real estate transactions for us since then as well as advising us on business and estate matters. Recently he handled some very delicate negotiations with regard to my late mother’s estate and was able to agree an outcome, which was fair and acceptable to all parties. This was done in his normal calm and considered manner, which helped settle a potentially stressful time for my sister and me. I have recommended Ben to a number of clients over the years and will no doubt continue to do so in the future.”
Ian Rule, Real Estate Agent Christchurch


“I was introduced to Ben Frampton in 2003. I have employed his services since this time, both as my personal lawyer and, in my real estate agent capacity, to many conveyancing clients. Ben has mostly looked after my property matters, both commercial and residential. He has also assisted with the purchase of company shares and maintaining my family trusts. In acting for my clients he has from time to time been able to provide helpful and straightforward suggestions in order to complete transactions that were sometimes looking difficult. I have always found Ben to be extremely clear with a no-nonsense approach to legal matters. I have never found Ben to be protracted about any of his dealings and this is one of the attributes I most appreciate in a sector where fees can be racked up by the hour. Ben’s response times are very quick and if he is unavailable, his support staff are extremely accommodating and helpful. I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Ben and Saunders & Co.”
Debi Pratt, Sales Consultant and Business Owner Harcourts Holmwood, Christchurch

Charlotte Grimshaw


Phone: +64 3 940 2435
Assistant: Stephanie Davison
Office: Ferrymead

I joined the Saunders & Co Ferrymead office in 2014 and was made an Associate in 2019.

Conveyancing for residential property sales and purchases is a significant aspect of my practice.  As a lawyer, I aim for a friendly, down-to-earth approach with good communication skills and work hard to explain each step in a clear, jargon-free way. This results in a less stressful, more seamless experience for my clients.

I also work on property refinancing matters and assist private clients with wills, estates and enduring powers of attorney. I build strong relationships with my clients which I believe is essential to developing a good understanding of their needs.  A main focus is to keep my clients well informed throughout any transaction.

I am originally from the UK but have lived in New Zealand since my teens.

I specialise in the following areas:

What My Clients Say

“Charlotte made our transition in selling and buying a property a stress free event. I was expecting quite a battle as I find ‘lawyer speak’ just not consumer friendly unless you have had some undertaking with the profession. Charlotte made the whole process clear, concise, and explained everything how we could understand it. I believe she went beyond what is required of her and consequently you have generated return business to your company because of her. I certainly will be telling everyone I know of our positive warm experience.”
Lynn Mortlock


“Thank you very much for all the work you did to make this smooth sailing for us. I have been so impressed with how efficient the process has been, even with minor hiccups along the way. I’ll be sure to recommend you and will keep you in mind for future legal matters.”
Emilie Dobinson

David Lang


Direct Dial: +64 3 963 1459
Mobile: 027 322 6776
Assistant: Leeanne Gupwell
Office: CBD

I joined Saunders & Co in 1984 and became a partner in 1990.

With many years’ experience advising property developers, managers and construction companies on commercial property matters, I have built strong networks and gained a high level of expertise in the commercial field.

My experience and proactive approach when dealing with matters relating to large and complex subdivisions have seen me build many long-standing relationships and work with a large number of property developers and investor clients.  I provide estate planning and personal asset management services to a large private client base.

Giving back to the law profession and the wider community is important me. I am a former member of one of New Zealand Law Society’s Standards Committees and current chairman of Nurse Maude. As a theatre buff I am Patron and Honorary Solicitor for the Repertory Theatre Society, as well as for Christchurch Music Theatre Education Trust, Canterbury Children’s Theatre and the Malthouse Theatre Trust.

I specialise in the following areas:

What My Clients Say

As a small business operating in the New Zealand fishing scene there are many ‘fish hooks’ for the unwary. Sometimes you find yourself unintentionally swimming amongst the sharks.  Then my company came under attack from overseas threats it was time to bring on board the legal expertise of David Lang.  He acted quickly and decisively to save me from being caught by some nasty predators.  He simply saved my business.”
Chris Ludeke, Director Arendale Ltd, Christchurch


“My wife and I enjoyed a long and happy relationship with a lawyer in a large Christchurch firm. Owing to a role change, he became unavailable to continue to act for us. We were then bundled around the firm and lost comfort and confidence in the firm’s ability to match our previous experience. I wanted a lawyer we could work effectively with at both a personal and professional level. It was especially important that my wife was comfortable in the event that something should happen to me. Matters came to a head over issues to do with the proposed development of our cross-lease property in Akaroa. We had engaged a very highly respected engineer to draw plans for retainer walls.  I consulted the neighbour concerned, and his reply arrived in the post a few days later – he was very angry.  To try to allay his concerns we paid for the engineer to travel to Akaroa for a meeting. Unfortunately this didn’t resolve things.  So my wife and I interviewed a number of solicitors who had been referred to us.  Our selection criteria came down to two main things:

1) My wife needed to feel happy to work with them.
2) What was their advice in developing our area of exclusive use in a cross-lease situation for car and boat parking, so when our family came to stay they could park their cars in a safe manner, when the neighbour was still so very angry?

In every case we were advised to sell and move on, yet the area we were trying to develop was for our exclusive use.  Our luck was about to change. We were referred to David Lang at Saunders & Co, Lawyers, in Christchurch. We met with David and my wife and I instantly felt at home with him. David’s advice was yes, you can develop your area of exclusive use. From that point on, he simplified both the legal and practical issues. The bonus – the neighbour acknowledged a job well done. The legal fees were also very fair.  I have no hesitation to refer other friends and colleagues to David.”
Ken Reese, Consultant Amberley, Canterbury


“I have found David Lang very thorough and very professional in all my dealings with him. I recall an occasion where, with a very difficult settlement, David’s efforts ensured a positive result that easily could have gone the other way.  This was also significant in that the settlement funds were needed to fulfil other financial commitments. David is accessible on short notice which is often very important to our company.”
Ian Calderwood, Executive Chairman Jonmer Group, Auckland


“David Lang of Saunders & Co has always been approachable, professional and extremely prompt in dealing with our legal matters.  His attention to detail has ensured all matters have been completed successfully, without any of the last minute surprises or issues that you often hear about. Dave’s biggest asset is his ability to ensure all goes well. He’s a bit like the captain of a ship – and I am always comfortable that things will go according to plan and best outcome when he is ‘at the helm’.  I would have no hesitation in recommending his services and the friendly help of the support staff at Saunders & Co to any of my colleagues.”
Matthew Reid, Fendalton, Christchurch

Dean Palmer


Direct Dial: +64 3 265 0315
Mobile: 0278 320 722
Office: CBD

I joined Saunders in 2018 and have been practising law in Christchurch for more than 35 years.  I have worked for a couple of major firms locally, predominantly in a partnership role.  I am experienced across a wide range of disciplines but now focus mainly on corporate governance, advice to SMEs, insolvency matters and trusts.

I specialise in the following areas:

Jeremy Bull


Direct Dial: +64 3 265 0911
Mobile: 021 228 5656
Assistants: Jan Feast (Monday) and Donna Butts (Tuesday to Friday)
Office: Hornby

I was admitted to the Bar in 1998 and after gaining valuable experience working at Saunders, I left New Zealand to travel overseas and lived in London for over four years.  There I worked as a paralegal doing mainly litigation support, before travelling through Europe and returning to New Zealand.

I recommenced working with Saunders & Co in 2004, became a Partner in 2008 and now run our Hornby office which focuses on looking after clients in southern Christchurch and growing surrounding towns such as Rolleston, West Melton, Lincoln, Prebbleton and Leeston

I enjoy the general nature of working in a suburban office which gives me the opportunity to utilise a variety of skills and assist a wide range of clients.

I practise in commercial and company law, property law, trust law, wills, powers of attorney and estate planning, with a particular focus on leasing, sale and purchase of businesses, subdivisions, and all property transactions.

I am pragmatic and aim to be a good communicator, keeping clients well informed throughout the process and helping them to work through any complex issues which can sometimes arise.  I am methodical, considered and organised in my approach to work.

I specialise in the following areas:

What My Clients Say

“We have been clients of Jeremy Bull since 2007.  Jeremy impresses us with his attention to detail. We were recently in the process of buying a house and at the point, we thought, of putting pen to paper. However, Jeremy’s research found inconsistencies between the plans and what we had been told by other parties involved in the negotiation. Jeremy was proactive, very clear in his communications, and quick to advise on how to handle the situation. The issue was quickly resolved and without stress to us.  We are happy to recommend Jeremy as a thorough, professional, personable and very capable lawyer.”
Sean and Nova Guerin. Rolleston, Christchurch

“Jeremy has looked after our legal affairs over a number of years.  Not only has he steered us through multiple home buying and selling transactions, but has also been invaluable in assisting us with the many and varied issues that we have seen in our business. These include lease agreements, employment agreements or contracts, and even trade marking our business logo for future protection.  I remember one time in particular when he was extremely proactive where we had an employee issue. He rang me multiple times throughout the situation to discuss options as he thought of any new angles that we hadn’t already considered. This demonstrated to me that he really cared and was willing to go the extra mile.  Every time I deal with Jeremy he is extremely helpful. He makes all the legal things that I encounter easy to deal with, and he has done a great job for me to date.  The staff at Hornby Law are always friendly and helpful, and a pleasure to deal with.  I am happy to recommend Jeremy and Hornby Law to other friends and business associates.”
Tania Lloyd – Director/Designer, Gekkographics, Christchurch


Nicky McCormick

Senior Registered Legal Executive

Direct dial: +64 3 963 1452
Mobile: 021 564 259
Office: CBD

I am an experienced Senior Registered Legal Executive who joined Saunders & Co in 2015.  I am also a fellow member of the New Zealand Institute of Legal Executives.

I work alongside Toby Giles on a wide range of property and commercial matters, from conveyancing, first home purchases, refinancing, asset protection, wills, trusts and (enduring) powers of attorney to restructuring and retirement village occupation rights agreements.

I am down to earth and always have the best interests of my clients at heart. I concentrate on being a good listener and communicator, and spend time establishing a strong understanding of people’s positions. This helps me to tailor advice on potential risks or advantages early in the process, helping to achieve the best results. When necessary I advise clients on the protection of their position and assets into the future.

First-home buyers are an important part of my portfolio. I enjoy helping them realise their potential through property purchase and can steer them in directions to get the best results.

Almost all of my work is with private clients, apart from some commercial lease matters. Although I work predominantly with Toby, other solicitors at Saunders & Co also call on my expertise from time to time.

I specialise in the following area:

Nicola Coombes


Phone: +64 3 940 2435
Assistant: Stephanie Davison
Office: Ferrymead

I joined Saunders & Co in 2012 soon after my arrival from the UK and became a partner in 2017. I enjoy leading the Ferrymead office with its broad, general practice and family-focused culture. Clients benefit from the smaller office environment and although most matters are handled within the Ferrymead office, additional expertise from the firm’s corporate office can be accessed if required.

Property and commercial matters make up a large part of my portfolio, which could include anything from the sale and purchase of homes, commercial buildings and businesses, to leasing, and refinancing. I also assist clients with personal asset planning, trusts, wills and estates, and continue to handle a smaller amount of insurance and earthquake-related work.

I am genuine in my approach and aim to provide prompt efficient service and pragmatic advice, focused on clearly explaining every step of the process.

Building strong links to local communities in the east of the city and the seaside suburbs is important to me, with the Ferrymead office assisting a number of community groups and trusts.

I specialise in the following areas:

What My Clients Say

“I am writing to acknowledge the superior service we were afforded by Nicola and her team at Saunders & Co Ferrymead. Having worked with and against a number of lawyers in my career, it was a delight to finally find a team who knew their business, executed it with diligence and aplomb while never losing their sense of humor or the human touch. We were singularly impressed with Nicola’s knowledge, experience and compassion. Never once did we suffer condescension, were we treated as numpties or made to feel we were wasting a professional’s time. Nothing was too much trouble and our angst and anxiety were met with concern and genuine understanding. This is an associate, backed by a team, in which Saunders & Co can have confidence and pride..”
Robert Nimmo Christchurch

Nicole Watson

Senior Registered Legal Executive

Direct Dial: +64 3 963 1468
Mobile: 027 545 5556
Office: CBD

I am a registered legal executive who started at Saunders & Co in 2016. I work mainly with Partners, Ben Frampton and Sarah Bee, on residential property conveyancing, and to a lesser extent “wills and estate” administration.

Building strong relationships with clients is important to me and I enjoy meeting them face-to-face and providing clear explanations and communication throughout every step of the property transaction.

The opportunity to guide first-home buyers through the purchase of their new home, and call them with the good news once their property is settled, are aspects of the role I particularly enjoy.  I have handled numerous Kiwisaver withdrawals, so can provide valuable tips and assistance regarding this process.

I am known for my friendly, helpful approach; for being open, honest and transparent at all times; and for keeping clients well informed.

I specialise in the following areas:

What My Clients Say

Nicole Watson worked with me and she was outstanding. I was overseas at the time and there were a few complications.  However she went above and beyond and I will be suggesting to others that they use her.

Bryan Stronach


After 40 years of service we are most impressed with the professionalism of your company. Nicole Watson contacted us on several occasions and kept us up to date with the events happening around our sale and purchase. When meeting to finally sign all legal papers everything was ready to go without a hitch. To have settlement confirmed early on the day of sale was so helpful as we were only one link in a series of chainovers affecting us.
Many thanks also to Sarah Bee, partner, as our principal in organising this.

Brian and Helen Edmunds


Excellent communication throughout and very prompt service. I was reassured that Saunders treat the client’s interest as top priority.

Ian Hosty, Chapman Engineering, Christchurch


Nicole helped us every step of the way with our purchase. She was friendly, knowledgable, full of good advice and a thoroughly enjoyable person to work with. I would not hesitate to recommend her to anyone thinking of buying or selling.”

Ann Easter, Christchurch


A massive thank you for all your hard work in securing our land.  We really appreciated your support and level of communication during the purchase. I hope to keep in contact as I am sure we will need your services once again when it comes to the build!

Mary Barclay and Sergio, Christchurch


Nicole Watson was very professional, easy to contact and made the whole process of selling our home hassle-free. We have used David Lang and Saunders and Co for many years and would highly recommend your company.

Mr and Mrs Judge, Christchurch


Peter Wood


Direct Dial: +64 3 265 0917
Mobile: 021 0263 1494
Office: CBD

I have more than 30 years’ experience in general practice and joined Saunders & Co upon the merger of Wood Marshall in November 2002. My current portfolio is focused on commercial and property matters, as well as assisting clients with wills, trusts and estates.

Refinancing and property conveyancing for private clients who are selling or buying homes is a significant part of my work. I also have expertise in smaller subdivisions and rural transactions, such as boundary adjustments for landowners selling off small parts of their properties.

I also act for numerous companies on a range of commercial matters such as the sale, purchase or lease of commercial buildings, and business sales and acquisitions. I provide sound guidance and advice for new business owners, ensuring the correct structure, documentation and financing are in place at the start.

I am also highly experienced in trust work, wills and estates. Clients appreciate my approachable manner and counsel when completing their transactions.

I specialise in the following areas:

Richard Calvert


Dial: +64 3 966 7709
Office: CBD

I started as a consultant lawyer at Saunders & Co in November 2015, after a wide and varied 47-year legal career in the corporate and private practice areas.

Most recently I spent 20 years with a Trust company specialising in wills, trusts and estates. Among my other roles was serving as legal counsel and legal secretary for a large Canterbury food production company, looking after both its business operations and compliance requirements to various government agencies and councils. Over the years I have made many presentations on my specialist areas of practice to professional and community groups.

Although I had officially retired from law prior to starting at Saunders & Co, I was pleased to take up the opportunity to work part-time as a consultant lawyer at the firm.

As a mature person, with the wisdom of experience, and wide expertise, I am known for the empathy I show clients, particularly when settling estates. My calm demeanour, pragmatic approach and understanding of what families are going through is particularly helpful when guiding them towards a satisfactory outcome, in what can be a difficult and challenging time.

I am a past director of the Sydenham Money Club and Canterbury Building Society; and a past member of the Institute of Directors and the New Zealand Institute of Management. I am also a co-trustee of the Ngaio Marsh Charitable Trust and of a number of family trusts.

I specialise in the following areas:


Tania McDonald

Senior Registered Legal Executive

Direct Dial: +64 3 265 0311

Office: Hornby

I am an experienced Registered Legal Executive who joined Saunders in 2017. I am based at our Hornby Branch and come with many years of experience in the industry.

My practice is focused on residential and commercial conveyancing, refinancing, wills, powers of attorney, family trusts, sale and purchase of businesses and commercial leases.

My attention to detail and client focus allows me to build strong relationships with my clients helping provide me with a better understanding of the matters at hand and client expectations. This approach ensures that I offer well-informed advice which converts to a smooth positive experience for my client to achieve the best results.

I specialise in the following areas:


CBD: 131 Victoria Street, Christchurch, NZ

Ferrymead: Unit 2, 987 Ferry Road, Christchurch, NZ

Hornby: 5 Goulding Avenue, Christchurch, NZ

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