This consultation paper


1.31       The Commission has been asked to review and report on:

Family provision

4. whether Part IV of the Administration and Probate Act 1958 concerning family provision applications is operating justly and effectively, having regard to its objective of providing for the proper maintenance and support of persons for whom a deceased had a responsibility to make provision.

1.32      This consultation paper discusses problems that have arisen in the family provision jurisdiction, in particular:

•    the extent to which the current law enables people to make opportunistic or non- genuine claims on estates

•    the problem of high legal costs that are often paid out of the estate

•    the suggestion that people are dealing with their assets towards the end of their lives to frustrate the operation of family provision laws.

1.33      The consultation paper then addresses the following possible areas for reform of family provision law in Victoria:

•    limiting eligibility to make a family provision application

•    amending costs rules and principles.

1.34      In 1997, the National Committee for Uniform Succession Laws provided a report on family provision law to the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General,21 which was supplemented by another report in 2004.22 The report made a number of recommendations for reform which, if adopted, would result in substantial changes to family provision law in Victoria. The National Committee’s recommendations have been partially implemented in New South Wales and Western Australia (although the Western Australian legislation has not yet been proclaimed).23 This consultation paper is informed by the work of the National Committee.



 21    National Committee for Uniform Succession Laws, Report to the Standing Committee of Attorneys General on Family Provision, Miscellaneous Paper 28 (1997).
 22     National Committee for Uniform Succession Laws, Family Provision: Supplementary Report to the Standing Committee of Attorneys General, QueenslandLaw Reform Commission Report 58 (2004).
 23     Succession Amendment (Family Provision) Act 2008 (NSW); Inheritance (Family and Dependants Provision) Amendment Act 2011 (WA).



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