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(1)As from the date on which this Act comes into force a person shall attain majority on attaining the age of eighteen instead of on attaining the age of twenty-one; and a person shall attain majority on that date if he has then already attained the age of eighteen but not the age of twenty-one.
(2)The foregoing subsection applies for the purposes of any rule of law, and, in the absence of a definition or of any indication of a contrary intention, for the construction of “major”, “majority”, “full age”, “perfect age”, “complete age”, “lawful age”, “minor”, “minority”, “under age”, “less age” and similar expressions in—
(a)any statutory provision, whether passed or made before, on or after the date on which this Act comes into force; and
(b)any deed executed on or after that date other than a deed made in the exercise of a special power of appointment where the deed creating the power was executed before that date.
(3)In the statutory provisions specified in Schedule 1 to this Act, for any reference to the age of twenty-one years or twenty-five years there shall be substituted a reference to the age of eighteen years.
(4)This section does not affect the construction of any such expression as is referred to in subsection (2) of this section in any of the statutory provisions described in Schedule 2 to this Act.
(5)The Secretary of State may, by order made by statutory instrument, amend any provision in any local enactment passed on or before the date on which this Act comes into force by substituting a reference to the age of eighteen years for any reference therein to the age of twenty-one years; and any statutory instrument containing an order under this subsection shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
(6)Notwithstanding any rule of law, a testamentary instrument or codicil executed before the date on which this Act comes into force shall not be treated for the purposes of this section as made on or after that date by reason only that the instrument or codicil is confirmed by a codicil executed on or after that date.
(7)This section shall not affect the construction of any statutory provision where it is incorporated in and has effect as part of any deed the construction of which is not affected by this section.
(8)This section shall not prevent the making of an adoption order or provisional adoption order under the M1Adoption Act 1958 in respect of a person who has attained the age of eighteen if the application for the order was made before this Act comes into force, and in relation to any such case that Act shall have effect as if this section had not been enacted.
(9)Section 4 of the M2Entail Amendment (Scotland) Act 1875 (consent to disentail may be given at 21) is hereby repealed.
(10)In this section—
“statutory provision” means any enactment and any order, rule, regulation, byelaw or other instrument made in the exercise of a power conferred by any enactment; and
“deed” includes any disposition, contract, instrument or writing (not being a statutory provision), whetherinter vivosormortis causa.
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