Monday, 3 July 2017

De Facto Step Children

Section 90 of the Administrarion and Probate Act defines those eligible to make a claim for further provision from the estate of a deceased person. "Eligible Person" includes "...a child of the deceased."
In a recent Supreme Court trial the Plaintiff was a child of a FORMER domestic partner of the deceased. The domestic relationship endured over 40 years until the Plaintiffs mother died about 15 years prior to the Testators death. After the Plaintiffs mother died the Testator entered into a new domestic relationship and left his entire estate to his new partner.
Associate Justice Derham found that the Plaintiff was an eligible person as that expression included stepchildren of the deceased and that status was maintained despite the death of the Plaintiffs mother prior to that of the testator.
The Defendant appealed this decision and the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal affirming that the Plaintiff remained a Stepchild of the deceased. Scott-McKenzie v Bail [2017] VSCA 108

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