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If you have assets outside of Australia or intend to purchase property overseas, you might wish to consider drafting an International Will.

New legislation in all States and Territories in Australia came into effect in April 2015 to ratify the international Convention Providing a Uniform Law on the Form of an International Will 1973.

The Convention seeks to harmonise and simplify the formalities required for Wills that have international characteristics. It sets out a uniform law prescribing the form of an ‘International Will’ that is recognised in all countries that are party to the Convention.

Importantly, new Australian legislation recognising International Wills will not supplement or replace existing domestic legislation on Wills. If you already have a Will in place, this new legislation will not make it invalid.

There are many reasons why you may wish to take advantage of this new legislation to create a Will that will be recognised internationally.

If you have overseas assets, an International Will can help to clarify your testamentary intentions and save your family time and money when seeking to recover your assets in foreign countries.

If you don’t own overseas assets, an International Will might still be suitable if one of your beneficiaries lives abroad or if you yourself are a beneficiary under an International Will. You do not need to own international assets to make an internationally-recognised Will.

To find out more about new Australian legislation recognising International Wills, or to discuss whether such an instrument is suited to you and your circumstances, please contact Brian Tetlow or Emma Bragg on (02) 6140 3263 or email: [email protected].