Wills Act: An Update
The Wills Act 1997 came into operation on 20 July 1998, widening the category of people who can make a claim against a deceased’s Estate. This enables applications for a share, or a larger share, in an estate by any “person for whom the deceased had responsibility to make provision”. As well as surviving spouses and children, potential applicants include people such as de facto partners, same gender partners, stepchildren and people who cared for the deceased.
In addition, the Act has conferred on the Supreme Court a wide discretion in relation to the interpretation of wills and power to dispense with the formal requirements as to signing or altering a will if it is satisfied that the testator intended the document to be his or her will.
The Court can authorise a person who is less than 18 years of age to make a will in certain circumstances and people who lack testamentary capacity for other reasons, eg. Brain damage can also be authorised to make a will provided certain conditions are met.
For further information about making a claim on a deceased estate, please call Dick Mackenzie, at Eales & Mackenzie
Please note: This article does not contain legal advice.
Article by Richard Mackenzie