n Tydskrif vir die Suid-Afrikaanse Reg - Party autonomy in international law of succession : a starting point for a global consensus?




Many a deathbed offers a place for the exchange of crucial information and assurances between the dying person and his or her attendants. It may also be the start of contention over the provisions in a last will and testament if coercion or compulsion is alleged. If the life, relationships and property of the deceased had become internationalised, the highest skill of the legal drafter or notary is necessary in the preparation of a last will and testament. Different legal systems may claim competence. Properties may be situated in more than one jurisdiction, or the obvious connecting factors associated with the testator may link the legal questions to any number of legal systems (eg the law of the forum ; the law that applies by virtue of the conflict rules of succession in one state or another ; or the designated foreign law). The testator may wish to be appraised of the law that will govern succession to the various parts of the deceased estate ; the lawyer may be duty-bound to indicate the possible choices of law to the testator. The extent to which the inheritance rights granted in the various jurisdictions must correspond with the provisions in the last will would be vital for the drafter. The extent of the risk that a judgment given in one jurisdiction and applying one particular law will differ from a judgment given in another would be of interest to testator and lawyer alike.


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