Family Finances on Death of a Spouse or Partner

Peart, NS, Family finances on death of a spouse or partner, in Palmer, J, Peart, NS, Briggs, M and Henaghan, M, (eds) Law and Policy in Modern Family Finance – Property Division in the 21st Century, Intersentia, Cambridge, 2017, pp 95-123.

Posted: 16 Apr 2019

See all articles by Nicola Peart

Nicola Peart

Faculty of Law, University of Otago

Margaret Briggs

University of Otago - Faculty of Law

Mark Henaghan

University of Otago; University of Otago

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

On death there is an inevitable tension in succession law between property and family, between testamentary freedom and the deceased’s duty to provide for family members. This paper considers the relationship property rights of a surviving spouse (or partner) in common law jurisdictions. The author compares English and Australian law with New Zealand and concludes that surviving spouses are still in a state of dependency and are vulnerable to the claims and interests of others, particularly in Australia and New Zealand. To reduce their dependency, this paper recommends that spouses should be given their relationship property entitlement on death to acknowledge their respective contributions to the creation of their combined wealth and that this entitlement should not be affected by succession law.

Keywords: Succession Law, Property Law, Family Law, Relationship Property, New Zealand

JEL Classification: K00, K11, K36

Suggested Citation

Peart, Nicola and Briggs, Margaret and Henaghan, Mark, Family Finances on Death of a Spouse or Partner (2017). Peart, NS, Family finances on death of a spouse or partner, in Palmer, J, Peart, NS, Briggs, M and Henaghan, M, (eds) Law and Policy in Modern Family Finance – Property Division in the 21st Century, Intersentia, Cambridge, 2017, pp 95-123., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3356049

Nicola Peart (Contact Author)

Faculty of Law, University of Otago ( email )

PO Box 56
Dunedin North
Dunedin, Otago 9016
New Zealand
6434798859 (Phone)
6434798855 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.otago.ac.nz/law/staff/nicola_peart.html

Margaret Briggs

University of Otago - Faculty of Law ( email )

PO Box 56
Dunedin North
Dunedin, 9016
New Zealand

Mark Henaghan

University of Otago ( email )

Faculty of Law
P.O. Box 56
Dunedin, 9054
New Zealand
64 3 479 5324 (Phone)
64 3 479 8855 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://otago.ac.nz/law/genome

University of Otago ( email )

PO Box 56
Dunedin North
Dunedin, 9016
New Zealand
6434798854 (Phone)
644798855 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://otago.ac.nz/law/genome

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