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Succession Act 2006 - NSW

Succession Act 2006

No Win, No Fee - Succession Act 2006The Succession Act 2006 (formerly the Family Provision Act 1982) is legislation in New South Wales which was created to govern the operation of Succession Law.

What is Succession Law?

Succession Law determines how inheritance is handled upon the death of a person and the process by which that person's Will is carried out.

How did the Succession Act 2006 evolve?

In NSW, Succession Law operations were previously governed by the Wills, Probate and Administration Act 1898 and then the Family Provision Act 1982. This act was then replaced by the Succession Act 2006, and amended following the Succession Amendment (Family Provision) Act 2008.


1. How does the Succession Act 2006 relate to Estate disputes?

2. What major areas of law are covered by the Succession Act 2006?

3. Which Act applies?

4. Does the Succession Act 2006 specify a time limit?

5. How does the Succession Act 2006 define a close personal relationship?


1. How does the Succession Act 2006 relate to Estate disputes?

Free Appraisal Call NowSince 1982 there has been an increase in complicated family structures in Australia. Complex family structures occur as a result of subsequent marriages and blended families. As a result of these changes Estate disputes have also become a lot more complex and an update in the legislation that governed those disputes was required. The core area of legislation that required an update was 'Family Provision'.

Family Provision relates to how members of the deceased person's family are going to be provided for under a Will, including who those family members are and the extent of their provision.

The update in legislation also extends the powers a Court has to provide for family members of a deceased person if the deceased failed to make adequate family provisions for them under their Will. Family members who feel they have not been adequately provided for are now encouraged to contest a Will, which then allows them to dispute the Estate.

2. What major areas of law are covered by the Succession Act 2006?

There are 11 major areas of law that are covered by the Succession Act 2006. They include:

  1. Making, Altering, Revoking and Reviving Wills - Legislation that governs the creation, execution, alteration, revocation and revival of a Will.

  2. Wills Made / Rectified Under Court Authorisation - Legislation that outlines the power a Court has to authorise Wills on behalf of those who do not have testamentary capacity (minors, etc) and the rectification of those Wills.

  3. Construction of Wills - Legislation that outlines how a Will should be constructed for it to be valid.

  4. Wills Under Foreign Law - Legislation that determines the validity of the Will under foreign law.

  5. Deposit and Access to Wills - Legislation that determines how a valid Will is to be deposited and the process by which someone goes through to gain access to the Will, including who has authorisation to do so.

  6. Family Provision - Legislation that governs the applications made for family provision orders.

  7. Notional Estate Orders - Legislation in NSW that stops the deceased from moving assets outside of their Estate prior to death, i.e. giving assets or money to family members.

  8. Intestacy - Legislation that governs what happens in the event of the deceased not having a valid Will at the time of death. If this occurs the deceased is said to be 'intestate'.

  9. Distribution Among Relatives - Legislation that determines the distribution process among relatives.

  10. Indigenous Persons' Estates - Legislation that outlines laws related to the Estates of indigenous people.

  11. Absence of Persons Entitled - Legislation that outlines what happens if an 'intestate' dies leaving no person entitled to their Estate. If this occurs the State is entitled to the whole of the Estate.

3. Which Act applies?

If a person dies on or after 1 March 2009, the Succession Act 2006 will apply.

If a person died earlier, the Family Provision Act 1982 will apply.

4. Does the Succession Act 2006 specify a time limit?

Yes. Under section 58 of the Succession Act 2006 it is stated that a Family Provision Claim must be filed within 12 months of the deceased person's death. The date can be extended by the court if "sufficient cause is shown". Extensions have been granted in the past whereby the applicant has obtained incorrect legal advice and the Estate's value being estimated incorrectly. In any case, sufficient evidence will need to be shown for the court to grant an extension. Knowing what evidence to supply in order for the Court to grant an extension is something we can help with.

5. How does the Succession Act 2006 define a close personal relationship?

The Succession Act 2006 outlines new legislation that defines what a 'close personal relationship' is. According to this legislation, a close personal relationship (other than a de facto relationship or marriage) is a relationship:

  • Between 2 adult persons (whether or not they are related by family)

  • Where the 2 adult persons are living together

  • Where one or each of whom provides the other with personal care and/or domestic support

However, it also defines a close personal relationship not existing whereby one person is providing the personal care and/or domestic support for a fee or reward, or on behalf of another person, organisation or agency. Therefore, a Doctor or Nurse who is looking after someone cannot legally be considered as having a close personal relationship with their patient.

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Have you been left out of a Will and are in need of legal advice and support? Call us today on 1800 707 222 to discuss your situation. We service New South Wales (NSW), Queensland (QLD) and Victoria (VIC). You can call us anytime 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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