Preparing a will can often be complete and difficult to prepare in circumstances where assets or beneficiaries are located across several jurisdictions.
To assist in simplifying succession law in Australia, the Australian Government agreed to the Convention Providing a Uniform Law on the Form of an International Will 1973 (the Convention) which came into force for Australia on 10 March 2015. Since then, all states and territories in Australia have passed legislation giving effect to the Convention. In New South Wales, this has been adopted in Part 2.4A of the Succession Act 2006 (NSW) (the NSW Act).
Article 1 of the Convention provides that a will shall be valid in its form, regardless of where it was made, the location of assets, and the nationality, domicile or residence of the testator, if it is made in the form of an international will that complies with the provisions set out in the Convention. It is important to note that the invalidity of the will as an international will shall not affect its formal validity as a will of another kind, for example, a will that is compliant with the NSW Act.
The Convention requires that the will:
Pursuant to section 50C of the NSW Act, an authorised person is:
Although this process is similar to the making of an ordinary will in NSW, the Convention provides that there must be 3 witnesses to the will with the third witness being the authorised person.
Should you have assets or beneficiaries located outside Australia, an international will is a simplified way of addressing your estate planning needs.
We note that the following states are Contracting States of the Convention:
United States of America
If you require assistance in establishing an international will enforceable in Australia and the countries listed above, please contact our team for assistance.