Category Archives: Succession

‘Rise in Cohabiting Couples Choosing Death Bed Marriages [UK]’

“Many couples are wedding shortly before one partner dies, presumably for the tax and probate benefits of such transactions. In the United Kingdom, everything that passes to a surviving spouse is exempt from inheritance tax. The spouse also inherits at the probate value, meaning when a major asset is sold the capital gains tax will […]

‘Greece Should not Have Applied Sharia Law in Will Contest’

“In a recent case in the European Court of Human Rights, the court found that Greece should not have allowed the two sisters a deceased Muslim man apply Sharia law to contesting the validity of their brothers will. In Molla Sali v Greece, a Grand Chamber judgment held that Greece had violated Article 14 of […]

Ying Khai Liew, ‘Birmingham v Renfrew (1937): The Foundations of the Mutual Wills Doctrine’

Abstract This paper discusses the facts of Birmingham v Renfrew and the impact of the decision on the development of the mutual wills doctrine in Anglo-Australian law. Much like laying the secure foundations of a building, Birmingham has supplied three central ‘pillars’ upon which the doctrine has gradually been built upon, and upon which the […]

Margaret Briggs, ‘Historical Analysis’

Abstract This chapter provides a brief account of the history of family property law in New Zealand from the nineteenth century to the present day, in the context of relationship property on death. Briggs, Margaret, Historical Analysis (2004) in N Peart, M Briggs, R M Henaghan (General Editors) Relationship Property on Death (Thomson Brookers, Wellington, […]

Beyer and Peters, ‘Sign on the [Electronic] Dotted Line: The Rise of the Electronic Will’

Abstract The electronic will is here … almost. The last two years have seen rapid development in the area of electronic wills. As of September 2018, several states either have enacted electronic will statutes or are in the process of considering such legislation. This article provides the history of e-wills and reviews e-will statutes, both […]

Conway and Grattan, ‘The “New” New Property: Dealing with Digital Assets on Death’

Abstract What happens to digital assets when someone dies? This basic question raises a host of legal issues around ownership, privacy, access to usernames and passwords, and the duties of personal representatives when administering estates, which do not fit neatly within traditional succession law and property law concepts. The location of digital assets also leads […]

Thomas Simmons, ‘A Will for Willa Cather’

Abstract Artists hold their creative works dear: whether paintings, poems, or songs, their human creators treat them with special care and often desire that same care be exercised after death. Directing particular uses of property from the grave can be met with several objections. The objections sound in alarmist responses to ‘dead hand control’ and […]

Popovici and Smith, ‘Freedom of Testation and Family Claims in Canada’

Abstract … At the dawn of the twentieth century, an unbridled freedom of testation prevailed in most of Canada. In the decades that followed, the law evolved to temper this principle in favour of protecting the family of a deceased person, so that obligations of support did not simply vanish upon death. The shape and […]

Bridget Crawford, ‘The Socioeconomics of Twenty-First Century Wills Formalities’

Abstract Individuals have executed wills the same way for centuries. But over time, traditional traditional requirements have relaxed. This Article makes two principal claims, both of which disrupt fundamental assumptions about the purposes and functions of wills formalities. First, the traditional requirements that a will must be in writing and signed by the testator in […]

Lloyd Bonfield, ‘Reforming the Law of Will Execution: The Real Property Commissioners’ Reports’

Abstract The paper is an introductory chapter of a book length study on the Wills Act of 1837. It focuses on the discussion of wills in the First Report made to by the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the Law of England respecting Real Property (1829) and the Fourth Report made to His Majesty by […]