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Can a step child in Victoria contest a Will?

Can a step-child in Victoria contest a Will?

Can a step-child in Victoria contest a Will?

The Administration and Probate Act 1958 (Vic) Section 90(c) & (f) sets out the law which governs step-children and their rights to contest a Will to get a share or larger share of an estate. 

 

Eligibility of a step-child to contest a Will 

A step-child is eligible if they are:

  • An adult (over the age of 18 years) with a financial need; or
  • A minor under the age of 18 years; or
  • A minor under the age of 18 years with a disability; or
  • A full-time student between 18 and 25 years.

 

What if my natural parent and his or her partner are not married? 

It does not matter. You are recognised as a step-child who is eligible to contest a Will. 
The 2016 case of Bail v Scott-Mackenzie made it clear your natural parent and his or her partner do not need to be married for you to qualify as a step-child. 

 

Do I cease being a step-child when my natural parent dies? 

The answer is no. If your natural parent dies whilst married to or in a domestic partner relationship with the step-parent, your status as a step-child does not end. 

 

Do I cease being a step-child when my natural parent and step-parent's relationship breaks down? 

The answer is yes. If the relationship is over, your status as a step-child ends. 

 

What else is relevant to whether a step-child will receive provision from a deceased estate? 

The Court will consider a range of factors which will include:

  • The step-child's relationship with the deceased including at what age the claimant became a step-child;
  • The level of dependence between the step-child and the deceased; and
  • Whether the deceased's Will and/or Intestacy fails to make proper provision for the step-child's proper maintenance and support having regard to their financial circumstances and needs.

 

Time limit to contest a Will 

A step-child can only contest a Will within six months from the date of the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration if there's no Will. 

The Court can authorise a claim outside the time limit if:

  • The delay is explained; and
  • The estate has not been distributed or prejudiced due to the delay

 

Get advice now 

What you need to know is whether you can claim and have a case. 

We offer free phone/first consultation advice and act "no win no fee". 

Our contest Wills lawyers Andrew O’Bryan and Carl Wilson will review your case and provide clear, easy to follow advice and take action to give you the best case outcome. 

We are located in Melbourne, Dandenong and Pakenham

 

 Andrew O'Bryan - Galbally & O'Bryan

Andrew O'Bryan
Galbally & O'Bryan 
Lawyers 
259 William Street 
MELBOURNE VIC 3000 

T (03) 9200 2533 I M 0400 469 704 
E aobryan@galballyobryan.com.au 

 

Carl Wilson - Galbally & O'Bryan

Carl Wilson
Galbally & O'Bryan 
Lawyers 
259 William Street 
MELBOURNE VIC 3000 

T (03) 9200 2533 
E cwilson@galballyobryan.com.au 

 

Melbourne Office
259 William Street 
MELBOURNE VIC 3000 

T (03) 9200 2533 
E cwilson@galballyobryan.com.au 

 

Dandenong Office 
Shop 9/147-151 Foster Street 
DANDENONG VIC 3175 

T (03) 9769 2510 
E nglavic@galballyobryan.com.au 

 

Pakenham Office 
Shop 1, 15 John Street 
PAKENHAM VIC 3810 

T (03) 5941 7990 
E pakenham@galballyobryan.com.au