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Comparative Succession LawVolume II: Intestate Succession$
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Kenneth Reid, Marius de Waal, and Reinhard Zimmermann

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198747123

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198747123.001.0001

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Intestate Succession in Australia and New Zealand

Intestate Succession in Australia and New Zealand

(p.349) 15 Intestate Succession in Australia and New Zealand
Comparative Succession Law

Nicola Peart

Prue Vines

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the development of the law of intestate succession in Australia and New Zealand. The rules of intestate succession in Australia and New Zealand have their origins in English law as a result of colonization. These rules provide insight into the changed meaning of family over time and the assumed responsibilities of deceased persons. In Australia, the changes in life expectancy were the impetus to prefer the surviving spouse over descendants and ascendants. New Zealand has not moved as far in this regard. The differential treatment of husbands and wives and the preference for sons over daughters have been abandoned in favour of formal gender equality. Marriage is no longer the exclusive foundation of family relationships for purposes of succession law. Relationships outside of marriage, including same-sex relationships, are now legally recognized and accorded equivalent status to marriage.

Keywords:   Australian law, civil law, intestate succession, succession law, English law, spouses, partners, relatives, heirs, indigenous people

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