As the rules that govern testamentary succession differ between countries, issues can arise relating to the validity of a Will where a deceased person has assets in both Australia and another foreign jurisdiction. Wills for International Estates have sought to address such conflicts, specifically the validity of the Australian will in the foreign jurisdiction.
Adopting the provisions of the UNIDROIT Convention Providing a Uniform Law on the Form of an International Will 1973 (Convention), the Queensland Parliament have introduced a new division 6A to the Succession Act 1981 (Qld) in order to facilitate the creation of such wills. Provided that the legislative requirements are met, an International Will will not only be valid in accordance with Queensland Law, but will also be valid under international law for foreign countries who are also signatories to the Convention.
Coming into force in Queensland on 10 March 2015, such amendments define an International Will as one that is made in accordance with the requirements of the Convention, as specified in Schedule 3 of the Succession Act. This requires that an International Will be witnessed by an ‘authorised person’, defined as a person who is either an Australian Legal Practitioner, a public notary of the State, or a person authorised to act as a witness under a law of a country that is party to the Convention.
Additionally, the authorised person must fulfil certain procedural requirements in accordance with Schedule 3 of the Act.
Where such procedures are followed, an International Will shall be valid irrespective of the particularity of the place where it was made, the location of the assets, or the nationality, domicile or residence of the testator. In addition to reducing delay in the estate administration process, such amendments provide a greater measure of certainty for people with assets in multiple jurisdictions.
For more information regarding Wills for International Estates
Should you require advice regarding an International Will, and would like an appointment with one of our experienced Estates lawyers, please contact us on (07) 3252 0011 and one of our Business Development Officers will be happy to assist you.