Wills & Estates

Court Affirms Broad Scope for Estate Claims by Stepchildren

A recent landmark decision by the Supreme Court of Appeal has reaffirmed the modern and inclusive definition of a ‘stepchild’. The decision has reaffirmed that stepchildren are among the limited number of people now eligible to make claims on a deceased’s estate.

Battle of the Wills: properly executed Will prevails over home-made Will

There are significant risks associated with failing to leave a valid Will. The executor of an informal Will is faced with the expensive task of applying for probate of the informal Will. In a recent case, the court rejected an application for probate of an informal Will, in circumstances where the deceased left an earlier, properly executed Will.

Scope widened for Will challenges by stepchildren

In early 2015, new laws relating to Will challenges were introduced in Victoria. These amendments created new eligibility requirements for making an estate claim. The Supreme Court recently endorsed a broad definition of a “stepchild” to include a child of the deceased’s domestic partner.

‘Tis the Season to Update Your Will and Enduring Powers of Attorney

For many families, experiencing the grief of losing a beloved family member is compounded by having to negotiate stressful litigation due to the lack of a current legal Will. As the new year gets underway, it is advised that you take the time to review or prepare your estate planning to ensure some peace of mind for the important people in your life.