Victorian couples contemplating altering their property holdings between themselves must act quickly to avoid paying stamp duty. These changes were announced in the Victorian State Budget and will come into effect on July 1, 2017.

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.