Trusts, wills, estates

Mediation repairs communication, resolves disputes and restores relationships

Family, friends and finances – these are some of the most important things in life. But, sometimes when they mix, disagreements and disputes happen.

Disputes involving trusts, wills and estates are often the result of a communication breakdown, causing a breakdown in relationships. Differences in values and ideas, or plans that were made for the whānau which have never been really spoken about, can cause frustrating misunderstandings.

Rather than going through the stress, delay and expense of court action, mediation at Fair Way is usually a much better pathway to resuming communication and resolving disputes, restoring those once-close relationships. This is especially important if you want or need to get along well in the future, for example, as trustees of a family trust.

Our name, ‘kia tau’, means ‘to settle, to resolve, to calm’. So, it’s our job to resolve any issues or disputes you may have – including disputes over trusts, wills and estates. As Aotearoa New Zealand’s dispute resolution experts, every day we support Kiwis to navigate conflict. We are here for you, too.

How it works

  • Get in touch

    Tell us about your situation and find out how we can help.

    Phone: 0800 77 44 20


    Online: webform

    We discuss your situation, talk about the process, and give you an indication of the fee based on your information. We contact the other party or parties to begin engaging them in the mediation.

    Once everyone is ready and agrees, Fair Way recommends mediators for you to choose from.

    Get in touch Process
  • Individual meeting

    After your mediator is appointed, they arrange a time where you can meet them separately to discuss your situation and the next steps.

  • Prepare (optional)

    You can arrange a short optional session with an independent professional to help you prepare for mediation. This helps you sort through the issues and decide what you want to say.

    Prepare process
  • Joint meeting

    Your mediator leads the meeting and helps you explore the issues, perspectives and solutions. The aim is to develop a lasting agreement that works for everyone involved.

    Conciliation Mediation


Either before the mediation or after, you may want or need to talk with your lawyer about your legal rights and obligations, depending on your issue.

About mediation

Mediation resolves conflict quickly and can help restore relationships. It also provides closure to an issue.

It’s a swift and cost-effective process to resolve disputes that’s also designed to assist with healing relationships, not compromising them. Mediation creates progress, clarity and a path forward. Fair Way can design the process to suit your dispute and requirements.

You can find answers to some common questions about mediation for trusts, wills and estates below. 

  • How does it work with trusts, wills and estates?

    Mediation is a collaborative way to reach agreement on disputes involving a trust, will or estate.

    It involves one of our mediators having one-on-one meetings with each party to understand the issues, then joint meeting or meetings with you all. During the joint sessions, your mediator will support you to work through the issues and develop your own solutions, reaching the best possible outcome for you all.

    Once an agreement is reached, the mediator prepares a written agreement for you to sign.

  • What can mediation achieve?

    Through the mediation process, you can:

    • resolve issues quickly and cost effectively
    • restore and maintain relationships
    • gain clarity and closure
    • learn skills for future conversations
    • maintain the confidentiality and privacy of your situation.
  • What are the benefits?

    Choice – choose the time, date and venue for your mediation.

    Quick – it usually takes around a week or two to get everything arranged.

    Cost effective – mediation is significantly cheaper than involving lawyers or going to court.

    Resolve conflict – reach an agreement that works for you.

    Restore relationships – reopen communication and move forward.

    Privacy – all matters discussed are confidential and remain private.

    Prevent – stop the escalation of costly disputes, grievances and settlements.

  • What are the timeframes?

    Your mediator works with all of you to develop a timeline that suits your needs.

    Once both parties have agreed to attend mediation, the mediation usually takes place within the next few weeks.

    The joint mediation meeting is often a half day or full day depending on your needs.

    Our team of Resolution Coordinators is available to guide you through the process, step by step.

  • Who can mediate?

    At Fair Way, our mediators are fully accredited through the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand (AMINZ), the Resolution Institute or the New Zealand Law Society.

    With over 100 skilled mediators across the country (including legal practitioners with expertise in trusts, wills and estates), Fair Way will ensure the best person is mediating your dispute. You can find out more about our team in the Our people section. 

  • How much does it cost?

    Each mediation is different, so costs do vary depending on the differing needs.

    When you get in touch with Fair Way, we will outline our costs and provide you with an estimate for our services.

    Usually, a one-day mediation costs $5,000 (excluding GST).

Find out more

To find out more about mediation and trusts, wills and estates, get in touch with us on 0800 77 44 20, by emailing, or online.

Find out more

Are children involved?

If it is a family matter and children are involved, we may be able to help, with that, too. Call us and ask about our Family Dispute Resolution service.