New laws on wills and inheritance commence today

New legislation has come into operation today to amend Victoria’s laws on wills and inheritance. The legislation, introduced by the Coalition Government, will help ensure families are not caught up in unnecessary disputes and will help reduce costs if parties are required to go to court.

Disputes about wills and inheritance can be stressful and costly, and come at a time when people are experiencing the loss of a loved one. Disputes can result in a large part of a deceased’s estate being consumed by legal fees and costs.

Amongst other changes, the new legislation limits who can make a claim on a deceased estate and the grounds on which they can claim. It restores the original intent that a person can only make a claim on an estate where a deceased has failed in their moral duty to make adequate provision for an applicant.

Where someone leaves a will, the presumption should be that their property should be distributed in accordance with the will, and a court should not depart from the terms of the will unless there is good reason to do so.

For more information, see: http://www.robertclark.com.au/news/attorney-general/new-wills-and-surrogacy-laws-pass-parliament/.