Govt ignores VLRC recommendation on wills

In October last year, the Victorian Law Reform Commission’s final report on Succession Laws was tabled in parliament. Its recommendations aimed to clarify and simplify the rules relating to making, executing and challenging wills and inheritances. The Justice Legislation Amendment (Succession and Surrogacy) Bill 2014, currently before Parliament, is the Government’s legislative response. However, the Herald Sun reports that the Victorian Government has rejected one of the VLRC’s key recommendations: “Parents, carers and adult children of the deceased would be barred from contesting wills under radical reforms to Victorian succession laws”, unless the claimants were “wholly or partly dependent on the deceased at the time of death. The dependency reform comes despite strong objection by the Law Reform Commission.” The Government says the VLRC’s preferred approach does not adequately protect “the principle that a deceased’s person’s will ought to be respected unless it is shown they have failed in their duty to provide for someone they should have made provision for”.