Australia signed the Convention providing for Uniform Law on the form of an International will in 1973. The Convention came into force on 10 March 2015 and provides for uniform validity requirements for “international wills” which are then recognised as valid in other countries who have acceded to the Convention.
The main benefit of laws to harmonise wills across international boundaries, is to resolve any conflict of laws in this area and enable a testator to make a single will that is valid across multiple jurisdictions.
By mid 2015, all Australian States and Territories passed domestic legislation giving effect to the Convention.
Whilst this development is encouraging as more and more clients have assets across multiple jurisdictions, regrettably only 10% of countries are signatories to the Convention. Until more countries commit to the convention, the validity and utility of “international wills” will be limited.