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September 19, 2007

That Old Roman Law Thing

Just a gentle reminder:

"The Maestro's wishes in the first will have been respected and we have no problem with how that has been attributed. However this did not cover the American estate and the three daughters from his first marriage are entitled to a share of this."

There's a huge difference between Continental (ie Roman) law and Anglo-Saxon. In the latter system, those assets that you've built up in your life are yours, to be disposed of upon your death as you see fit. Sure, the taxman will get a cut, but you can leave it to the dogs home, your mistress or your children, your choice.  The Continental system states that a certain portion must be given to your children. In short, that what is yours is not, in fact, yours, and must be disposed of as the State insists.

Gonna be interesting when the EU tries to harmonize that, isn't it? (A rumour I've heard says that they're going to try, too.)

September 19, 2007 in Law | Permalink

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Comments

'There's a huge difference between Continental (ie Roman) law and Anglo-Saxon. In the latter system, those assets that you've built up in your life are yours, to be disposed of upon your death as you see fit. Sure, the taxman will get a cut, but you can leave it to the dogs home, your mistress or your children, your choice.'

Wrong-several Anglo-Saxon countries have Inheritance Acts which give dependents the right to challenge wills.

Posted by: james C | Sep 19, 2007 10:38:16 AM

We've had no prob in 300 years of the Union. Scotland runs on Roman Law and restricts how you may leave your assets, presumably on the reasoning that you aren't going to get off with leaving your widow and gets as a potential charge on everyone else.

Posted by: dearieme | Sep 19, 2007 11:58:45 AM

And in England and Wales it is possible for a dependant to challenge a will on the grounds that he should have been left reasonable provision, but wasn't.

The bar is fairly high, though.

Posted by: Sam | Sep 19, 2007 3:59:33 PM

Tim
It's nearly 40 years since I studied succession law, but I think Australian (and English) law has sometbing called testator's family maintenance, which might be what dearieme refers to.

Posted by: Geoff | Sep 20, 2007 1:10:14 AM

... actually, it was Sam, not dearieme

Posted by: Geoff | Sep 20, 2007 1:11:19 AM