Disputes over wills and inheritance are common in New Zealand, and claims continue to be brought under the Family Protection Act 1955 and the Law Reform (Testamentary Promises) Act 1949. Section 88(2) of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 has increasingly been used to bring a half share of assets passing by survivorship to a surviving spouse or partner back into the deceased estate so that a claim against those assets may be made.

This edition of Law of Family Protection and Testamentary Promises updates and extends this comprehensive text. New matters discussed include a trend for courts to be asked to increase awards in claims brought as “support” or “recognition” claims based on “additional factors”, problems arising where there are blended families and one family group is or is perceived to be preferred over the other, a review of the approach of courts to making percentage awards in cases and a discussion on conflict of interest where administrator beneficiaries are involved. The changing attitude of the courts to the award of costs as well as some new procedural issues are noted, as is the emerging willingness of courts to permit interim distributions to beneficiaries so they can fund their legal costs.


• Authoritative commentary by New Zealand’s leading expert.

• Includes discussions of the courts’ changing attitudes to the award of costs.

• An irreplaceable resource for all practitioners, family law academics, and students.

Written by Bill Patterson