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Comparative Succession LawVolume I: Testamentary Formalities$
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Kenneth G C Reid, Marius J. de Waal, and Reinhard Zimmermann

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199696802

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199696802.001.0001

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Testamentary Formalities in Australia and New Zealand

Testamentary Formalities in Australia and New Zealand

(p.329) 14 Testamentary Formalities in Australia and New Zealand
Comparative Succession Law

Nicola Peart

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses the legal development of testamentary formalities in the eight Australian states and territories, and in New Zealand since colonisation. While the laws in these jurisdictions trace their origins to English law and the rigid formality of the Imperial Wills Act 1837, the current law is more relaxed and no longer requires strict compliance with testamentary formalities. The chapter explores gradual changes in the law, the move towards uniform succession laws in the Australian jurisdictions and, in particular, the Court's power in both countries to excuse any of the testamentary formalities aside from the need for a document. Slight differences in the wording of this power may allow non-compliant wills to be validated more readily in New Zealand than in Australia.

Keywords:   testation rate, will formalities, special wills, wills of indigenous peoples, signing requirements, witnessing requirements, dispensing power, validation power.

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