A Court Ordered Will, or a Statutory Will, is a Will made by the Supreme Court of Queensland (after an application has been made to the court) on behalf of someone who has:
- Lost Capacity—applies when the person had mental capacity, but lost it later in life, for example as a result of illness or accident. The person’s previous valid Will, if they had one, may no longer be deemed valid or applicable to the person’s circumstances.
- Nil Capacity—applies when a child suffers an illness or accident from birth or in early infancy, which causes loss of capacity, and means that the person will never have the required capacity to make a Will.
- Pre-empted Capacity—applies when a person does not have the capacity to make a Will, but previously had the capacity to express reasonable wishes or to form a relationship that should be reflected in a Will, as recognised by the court.
Since 2006 all Australian states and territories have introduced laws permitting courts to authorise that a Will be made, altered or revoked for a person deemed to be lacking testamentary capacity. As the Australian population ages, and as life expectancy increases, requests for Statutory Wills are becoming more common. This is a complex area of the law that requires specialist legal knowledge.