Wills Amendment Act 2012

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Wills Amendment Act 2012

Public Act2012 No 22
Date of assent24 February 2012
Commencementsee section 2

The Parliament of New Zealand enacts as follows:

1  Title
  • This Act is the Wills Amendment Act 2012.

2  Commencement
  • This Act comes into force on the day after the date on which it receives the Royal assent.

3  Principal Act amended
4  Requirements for validity of wills
  • Section 11 is amended by repealing subsections (3) and (4) as from their commencement, on 1 November 2007, and substituting, as from that commencement, the following subsections:

    • (3) The will-maker must—

      • (a) sign the document; or

      • (b) direct another person to sign the document on his or her behalf in his or her presence.

    • (4) At least 2 witnesses must—

      • (a) be together in the will-maker's presence when the will-maker—

        • (i) complies with subsection (3); or

        • (ii) acknowledges that—

          • (A) he or she signed the document earlier and that the signature on the document is his or her own; or

          • (B) another person directed by him or her signed the document earlier on his or her behalf in his or her presence; and

      • (b) each sign the document in the will-maker's presence.

    • (5) As evidence of compliance with subsection (4), at least 2 witnesses may each state on the document, in the will-maker's presence, the following:

      • (a) that he or she was present with the other witnesses when the will-maker—

        • (i) signed the document; or

        • (ii) acknowledged that he or she signed the document earlier and that the signature on the document is his or her own; or

        • (iii) directed another person whose signature appears on the document to sign the document on his or her behalf in his or her presence; or

        • (iv) acknowledged that another person directed by him or her signed the document earlier on his or her behalf in his or her presence; and

      • (b) that he or she signed the document in the will-maker's presence.

    • (6) No particular form of words is required for the purposes of subsection (5).

5  Wills made before 1 November 2007
  • Section 40(2) is amended by repealing paragraphs (i), (k), and (l) as from their commencement, on 1 November 2007, and by repealing paragraph (n) as from its commencement, on 1 November 2007, and substituting, as from that commencement, the following paragraph:

    • (n) section 16(g) does not apply; and.

6  New section 40A inserted
  • The following section is inserted after section 40:

    40A Application of Wills (Validity) Amendment Act 2012
    • (1) Sections 11 and 40 as amended by the Wills Amendment Act 2012 apply (instead of those sections as in force before they were amended by that Act) in making after the commencement of that Act (in this section called the commencement) a determination whether a document is, or can and is to be declared by order of the High Court to be, a valid will.

      (2) Subsection (1) applies whether or not the determination—

      • (a) is made by the High Court, a Judge of the High Court, a Registrar or Senior Deputy Registrar of the High Court, a personal representative (as defined in section 6) of a person who has died, or any other court or person:

      • (b) arises from, or without, an application for administration (whether without notice, or in solemn form) made before or after the commencement (including, without limitation, one in solemn form made before or after the commencement and following one without notice made unsuccessfully before the commencement):

      • (c) arises from an application made before or after the commencement for a review by the High Court or a Judge of the High Court of a determination made by a Registrar or Senior Deputy Registrar of the High Court made before or after the commencement.

      (3) But this section and sections 11 and 40 (as amended by the Wills Amendment Act 2012) do not affect the validity or consequences of the following to the extent (if any) that they are based on sections 11 and 40 (as in force before they were amended by that Act):

      • (a) a grant of administration (as defined in section 2(1) of the Administration Act 1969) made before the commencement:

      • (b) a payment made or other action taken before the commencement and that an enactment authorised without a grant of administration (as so defined).


Legislative history

16 February 2012Divided from Statutes Amendment Bill (No 2) (Bill 271–2) and third reading
24 February 2012Royal assent

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Justice.