Testamentary Claims by Adult Children – The Agony of the ‘Wise and Just Testator’
Peart, Nicola; Sutton, Richard
The New Zealand Family Protection Act 1955 asks the courts to decide whether a will-maker has made “adequate provision…for the proper maintenance and support” of their adult child. The courts, applying these words, determine the extent to which conventional social values are applied by law to errant will-makers. In this article, the authors explore the results of the courts’ work, with particular reference to two recent decision of the Court of Appeal, Williams v Aucutt and Auckland City Mission v Brown. The article begins by considering some essential theoretical questions, before looking at the Law Commission’s radical proposal to limit adult children’s claims under the Act and discussing the Court of Appeal’s response to that proposal. The authors conclude that, as long as it is properly confined, the Court’s jurisdiction might still be useful to modify the results of the occasional irrational or frail exercise of will-making power.
Publisher: The Otago Law Review Trust Board
Keywords: New Zealand; Intestate law; Property law
Research Type: Journal Article