Wills and estates
Additional Publication Information
The effect of succession law on children and young people is significant. On the one hand, children are dependent on adults for their care, protection and financial support and these needs do not abate in the event of the death of a parent or carer. On the other hand, just like adults, many children and young people own property that they wish to pass on to others in the event of their death. Many young people have also formed their own families and have responsibility for the support of their own partners and children. The law of succession has some difficulty with the contrasting needs and responsibilities of children and young people with the result that not all aspects of succession law are 'child friendly'.
The conflicting state of succession laws across Australia and outdated notions of the place of children in society and family life has not assisted in this. Succession law has developed in something of a topsy-turvy fashion from laws originally inherited from the United Kingdom. Over time, eachjurisdiction has added to or changed these laws to such an extent that by the 1980s all jurisdictions had different succession laws that could lead to quite different outcomes for those involved.