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International Wills

Estate Planning Update – Autumn 2013

Australian states and territories have been progressively introducing amendments to their Wills legislation to enable Australia to participate in the international convention governing Wills and the international Wills espoused by that convention. An international Will that meets the requirements of the convention is valid in the countries or jurisdictions acceding to the convention, regardless of where the:

  • Will was made
  • Assets of the willmaker are located
  • Residence or domicile of the willmaker.

A key difference between these international Wills and traditional Wills is in their witnessing. In addition to the requirement of 2 witnesses, an international Will must have attached to it a certificate certifying that the requirements for an international Will have been complied with. In Australia, that certificate can be prepared by an Australian Legal Practitioner or a public notary. The format of that certificate is set out in Schedules in the various Australian state and territory Wills legislation.

For many people with assets in more than one country, it may now be preferable to ensure that their Will or Wills meet the requirement for an international Will.

Contact our Wills & Estate Planning Lawyers for further information  9964 0022