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Legislation introduced to ease problems with deceased estates

Wills and Estates: 23 March 2019

Administration and Probate and Other Act Amendment (Succession and Related Matters) Bill 2016

Legislation was introduced into Victorian Parliament yesterday which will address problems that can arise in dealing with a deceased person's estate and which also introduce updated formulas for distributing assets when a person dies without a will. 

The amendments:

  • Change how a person's assets are divided between their spouse or partner and their children if the person dies without a Will.  The Bill increases the partner's legacy from $100,000 to $451,909 (indexed) and introduces a new formula for determining who the balance of the estate is divided.
  • Improve the rules dealing with a partner's right to acquire the family home.
  • Tightens the rules for executors and administrators who wish to fees and commissions for acting as executor or administrator and introduces a right of review by the court to any fee charging structures in the Will.
  • Remove the difficulties which can arise if large gifts were made a deceased person to a child during their lifetime, which presently can be offset against their inheritance.
  • Introduce a provision to ensure that, if a willmaker leaves a house or other specific asset to a beneficiary and afterwards that asset is sold, that the beneficiary does not miss out completely.
  •  Introduce some other administrative improvements to facilitate the administration of a deceased's estate.

Many of the amendments are based on the recommendations of the Victorian Law Reform Commission in its 2012 review of Succession Laws.

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