The law surrounding inheritances, challenging wills, and succession will be reviewed this year.  The process and laws for governing inheritance (the processing of somebody’s estate) has not changed since the 1960s.  The laws governing who can challenge an estate have not been updated since the 1950s.  

Although there were changes to the Wills Act recently, this only goes so far as to define what makes a Will valid.

The Law Commission plans on opening a public consultation process in 2020 to enable New Zealanders to share their views. This is because the law has not kept pace with the changes in society and families in New Zealand, especially blended families from relationships.  

A report will go to the Government with recommendations by the end of 2021.

Important questions will be asked by the Law Commission in the review such as:

  1. How important is it that someone’s Will is followed?
  2. Should family members be able to claim more property than the Will gives them?
  3. How should the law apply to complex family arrangements, such as second relationship and step-families?
  4. How should property be divided if there is no Will?

Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-price Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.

You can find further articles as to what the law currently says around division of property when somebody dies in the articles below: