Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When can the court dispense the requirements for execution, alteration or revocation of a will?

Using the Succession Act 2006 (NSW) as our example, the court may dispense with the formal requirements for the execution, alteration or revocation in s 8 under the following circumstances:

“(1) This section applies to a document, or part of a document, that:

(a) purports to state the testamentary intentions of a deceased person, and

(b) has not been executed in accordance with this Part.

(2) The document, or part of the document, forms:

(a) the deceased person’s will-if the Court is satisfied that the person intended it to form his or her will, or

(b) an alteration to the deceased person’s will-if the Court is satisfied that the person intended it to form an alteration to his or her will, or

(c) a full or partial revocation of the deceased person’s will-if the Court is satisfied that the person intended it to be a full or partial revocation of his or her will.

(3) In making a decision under subsection (2), the Court may, in addition to the document or part, have regard to:

(a) any evidence relating to the manner in which the document or part was executed, and

(b) any evidence of the testamentary intentions of the deceased person, including evidence of statements made by the deceased person.

(4) Subsection (3) does not limit the matters that the Court may have regard to in making a decision under subsection (2).

(5) This section applies to a document whether it came into existence within or outside the State.”

Although the rigid requirements have been tempered, the ultimate decision still rests with the Court to decide whether the requirements of the legislation have been made out. 



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