What is the Succession Act?
The succession act is the piece of legislation in New South Wales which governs the operation of the succession law. Succession is the process where the assets of an estate are transferred to the beneficiaries of the estate. The major topics that this piece of legislation deals with are the making of wills including what property may be disposed of by Will and the minimum age for making a will. The legislation sets out the requirements for how we’ll should be executed and when a court can dispense with these requirements. It also provides guidelines for the witnessing of a will and the revocation, or alterations and revival of a will. There is also a very important process under part two of the act which enables a court to rectify a will when it is made by a minor or by a person without a testamentary capacity. section 27 of the act also allows a court itself to rectify it will. The act goes on to provide a framework for the construction of the terms of wills including how it will dispose of interests in property, when it will take effect and the failure of a disposition under will. The legislation also allows the use of extrinsic evidence to construe it will. There are also specific conditions related to the general disposition of land under a will.
The act also has provisions relating to the recognition of wills under foreign law and the deposit of wills as well as access to wills with the registry. one of the most important and also controversial parts of this act is chapter 3 which deals with family provision, this part of the act allows courts to make orders altering wills which have not made sufficient provision for members of their family. The court makes what is called a family provision order. The court can even make what are called notional estate orders which enable a court to identify a notional estate, which is a situation where a person has transferred some property away from themselves prior to their passing. A notional estate order allows the court to transfer property back to the estate so that a family provision order can be made. the final parts of the act to deal with the situation of intestacy, which is when a person does not have a legally binding will available. There are a series of rules which are explained by the act relating to which persons the estate goes to in situation of intestacy, however it is most usually the spouse who benefits first.