The Law of Succession in NSW 4th Edition

The Law of Succession in NSW 4th Edition

By G L Certoma


$179.00 RRP

Date: 26/08/2010

Code: 9780455227207

Lawbook Co., AUSTRALIA


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Leading succession authority Professor Leroy Certoma, an Acting Judge of the District Court of New South Wales, has completely revised and updated his enduringly popular textbook. With well over a decade’s developments incorporated, this fourth edition of The Law of Succession in New South Wales has been eagerly awaited.

Taking into account the recent substantial legislation changes and challenges implementing the Uniform Succession Law project in New South Wales, this book carefully addresses the considerable body of judicial consideration.

Well-rounded in its coverage, The Law of Succession in New South Wales commences with a general discussion of the development and nature of the subject and refers briefly to transnational considerations increasingly common with globalisation. It then deals with intestacy, the law of wills, and family provision, and finally with the administration of deceased estates.

Chapters follow the order in which the material is relevant in dealing with testamentary matters. Throughout, Professor Certoma’s clear and concise analysis provides practical guidance to both students and practitioners.


Pt I – Introduction
1 The Nature and History of Succession
Pt II – Conflict of Laws and Succession
2 The Applicable Law
Pt III – Intestate Succession
3 Intestacy
Pt IV – Testate Succession
4 Definition and Nature of a Will
5 The Mental Element
6 The Formal Element
7 Revocation
8 Alterations
9 Republication and Revival
10 Construction of Wills: General Considerations
11 Construction of Wills: Property and Persons
Pt V – Family Provision
12 Testator’s Family Maintenance
Pt VI – The Estate
13 Estates Pending Grant
14 Grants of Representation
15 The Administration and Distribution of the Estate.

Related titles
Certoma, Succession Law: Commentary and Materials, 6th Edition

Haines, Croucher & Wright, Australian Succession & Trusts Law Reports (Report series)

Haines, Englefield & Guille, Australian Succession Law (Looseleaf)

Kessler & Flynn, Drafting Trusts and Will Trusts in Australia

Editorial Reviews

From: (2012) 86 ALJ 70
Reviewed by Mr Justice P W Young

The first edition was reviewed by David Maclean (see “Briefer notices” (1988) 62 ALJ 1060), but it does not appear to have been reviewed since then.

David Maclean noted that it was an “interesting and worthwhile book which will be of most
assistance to students”. I would agree, but the use of the book in 2011 is of far greater significance as succession has largely been discarded from the academic menus of many law schools and the only way that a firm of solicitors can ensure that its new recruit has a basic knowledge of the subject is to get him or her to read, mark and inwardly digest this book. There is little else that would serve the same role. Whilst this book is purely focused on NSW law, the law of other States is now fairly uniform so that it would be appropriate reading outside New South Wales.
Succession or probate law is one of the mainstays of the average solicitor’s practice as all must
die. Accordingly, it is basic for a solicitor to know what is necessary for the formal validity of a will,
the approach of courts to construction of wills (so as to know the pitfalls) and the laws of intestacy.

All these matters are concisely yet comprehensively dealt with in this book.

The book is split into six parts. It commences (Pt I) with a brief history of succession to deceased
estates. It contains some interesting historical facts (though of no present practical use) such as a
person who died intestate was once considered to be an unrepentant sinner. Part II deals with conflict of law problems, Pt III with intestate succession and Pt VI with administration. However, the bulk of the work is in Pts IV and V. Part IV, which occupies 160 pages, that is about half the book is on, testae succession. It has eight chapters, dealing with both the mental and formal elements in creating a will, matters of form regarding alterations and revocation including two chapters dealing with will construction. Part V is a good basic treatment in 42 pages of what used to be called testator’s family maintenance or family provision, but which is now part of the Succession Act 2006 (NSW).

Whilst this work will not delve into the intricate detail that counsel may need when presenting a
case to the court, it provides a good basic and comprehensive treatment of the subject and would even give such counsel a good starting point for their research.

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