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Media Release - Commission supports uniform laws on family provision (26 July 2005)

The New South Wales Law Reform Commission (NSWLRC) has today released a report in support of uniform laws for family provision across Australia.

The uniform laws have been proposed by the National Committee for Uniform Succession Laws which was established by the Standing Committee for Attorneys General to review the laws relating to succession.

Family provision laws allow someone to challenge a will - or a distribution on an intestacy - when they believe the deceased ought to have made adequate provision for their maintenance but failed to do so.

The laws are different across Australia and this leads to complexity when people die leaving property in more than one State.

'The laws relating to succession affect each and every one of us at some stage' NSWLRC Commissioner, Professor Michael Tilbury said today. 'But with eight different sets of succession laws operating in Australia, it is unnecessarily complex and potentially costly for people who are coming to terms with the death of a family member or friend'.

The family provision reforms are substantially based on the NSW provisions which have been in operation for more than 20 years. They are part of a package of uniform proposals relating to the law of succession and the administration of deceased estates.

'The uniform laws have been drafted with input from representatives of all the States and Territories, so there is a real chance of achieving uniformity when the project is completed' said Professor Tilbury. 'The Commission has produced its report to encourage the adoption of the uniform laws in NSW.'

Work on the administration of deceased estates and the law of intestacy will be completed by the end of the year.

The Report ( No 110, [PDF, 330]) is available from the NSWLRC and on the Commission's website:

Media enquiries: Professor Michael Tilbury, Full-time Commissioner, NSW Law Reform Commission, (02) 9228 8230.