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Testamentary freedom and family provision in Australia

Updated 29 November 2020 Testamentary freedom is being free to dispose of your property how and to whom you wish.  The freedom of testamentary disposition is, as one Supreme Court judge said a “prominent feature of the Australian legal system.   Its significance is both practical and symbolic and should not be underestimated.”1 Of course like …

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“Contrary intention” in succession law and will-making

Image: Coat of Arms, Broken Hill Courthouse, NSW, by B Stead.

Broken Hill Courthouse - Coat of Arms, early Australian courthouses, Australian legal history, Australian Colonial courthouses,Many provisions in state and territory legislation on succession and wills allow for a willmaker to express a contrary intention in their will to override the statutory rule. Where a provision of succession legislation contains these words, it means that the statutory rule can be displaced, that is not apply in the administration of their estate, if a willmaker has expressed a different intention on the matter in their will as to what they want to have happen.

The rule of law

“Every person in [Australia] is required to live under and obey the law.  [This is the rule of law.] Every person is entitled to use the law to protect their rights and interests.”   From the South Australian Law Handbook ‘About’, online version, with adaptations and additions in brackets, Legal Services Commission,