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Johnny Hallyday

Will challenges in Australian law and under Roman law

Australia has horrible inheritance laws. They are the source of terrible injustices and family disputes. Below I quote from Ben White et al, "Estate contestation in Australia: an empirical study of a year of case law," which talks about the non-financial costs as well as public and private costs. It rates the chances of court actions succeeding in different states and describes differences in state laws. It also refers to some suggested reforms, which include making it more difficult for adult children to contest wills. To my mind, this would mean to keep on disinheriting them in the disreputable Anglosphere way. At the moment any adult child can contest a will on the basis of being very poor. One of the reforms this study flags is that a person would have to show they were very poor before they qualified to contest the will. However that would not take much away from all the hurt and jealousy about unequal distributions, so famous in King Lear. I prefer the French Civil code, which says you have to distribute your estate equally to all your children, legitimate and illegitimate, from any marriage. This kind of law also cuts back the expansion of de facto claims, which in Australia, the US, England etc threaten to expand nearly infinitely now that both heterosexual and same-sex liaisons can be interpreted legally as de facto - yet another indicator that marriage is mostly about property in the Anglosphere, where spouses trump children and marriage can bankrupt you. For the rules on this, see, for instance,

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