DeDominicis: Changes made to wills and estates law

The new law was intended to modernize succession law, reduce statutes and introduce a new administration for small estates.

Vanessa DeDominicisThe law governing wills and estates substantially changed in 2014.  The new law was intended to modernize succession law, reduce number of wills and estates statutes, and introduce a new administration for small estates.

The changes are vast and can by no means be covered in this column.

To name but a few changes, there are changes to the presumption of survivorship, changes to the definition of “household furnishings” and changes to the onus of proof in undue influence cases.

The issue of offspring that are conceived after the testator’s death via reproductive technology inheriting is even addressed.

Suffice it to say that if you ever thought you should have your will reviewed and updated, now is a really good time to make that appointment.

If you had a valid will drafted prior to the introduction of the legislation (March 2014),  your will is not invalidated by the new law, however, it will be interpreted and administered under the new rules, so whoever drafted your will needs to have considered the upcoming legislation changes.