A few weeks ago, we told you about a new Act that was coming into force on February 1st. Lo’ and behold, that day has now arrived, and the Wills Act is no more. Instead, we now have the Wills and Succession Act. This new Act changes many long-standing legalities around Wills. For example, there are significant changes in the areas of:
- what happens in situations when a person dies without a Will;
- survivorship (i.e.: the question of “who died first” in situations when multiple family members die in the same accident)
- marriages revoking Wills (i.e.: they no longer do)
- Wills by minors; and
- maintenance and support of dependants.
Interestingly, there is also one set of changes that did not come into force today, namely those relating to matrimonial property upon the death of a spouse. Although those were set to come into force today, further consultation is being sought and the changes have been postponed.
Due to the introduction of this new Act, it is important for anyone who is currently thinking about writing a Will to understand these changes and make his/her decisions accordingly. It is also important for people who already have a Will to consider how these changes may affect their Wills and whether that means they need to write a new Will.
For more information on the changes, please see the Update to our Making a Will booklet.