You are here: >> WillsHub-BHS Legal Home >> Children

Children

About children in Australian succession law, providing for children by will, who is a child?

Early inheritance issues and family provision

sandstone carving, Parkes Courthouse, New South Wales, An early inheritance of a mortgage-free home was given to the younger daughter at the time of her marriage. It was well understood by all family members at the time that the other older daughter would receive her inheritance when the last parent died. However things didn’t go to plan.

Testamentary freedom and family provision in Australia

Updated 29 November 2020 Testamentary freedom is being free to dispose of your property how and to whom you wish.  The freedom of testamentary disposition is, as one Supreme Court judge said a “prominent feature of the Australian legal system.   Its significance is both practical and symbolic and should not be underestimated.”1 Of course like …

Testamentary freedom and family provision in Australia Read More »

Contesting a will – time limits on making an application

time limits, family provision, family provision law, farm, Western Australia, contest a will, Time limits apply under family provision law within which to contest or challenge a will. If this time has passed it is possible to apply to the Court for an extension, but whether it is granted will depend on the circumstances. In this case the application was unsuccessful, being some years out of time.

“Contrary intention” in succession law and will-making

Image: Coat of Arms, Broken Hill Courthouse, NSW, by B Stead.

Broken Hill Courthouse - Coat of Arms, early Australian courthouses, Australian legal history, Australian Colonial courthouses,Many provisions in state and territory legislation on succession and wills allow for a willmaker to express a contrary intention in their will to override the statutory rule. Where a provision of succession legislation contains these words, it means that the statutory rule can be displaced, that is not apply in the administration of their estate, if a willmaker has expressed a different intention on the matter in their will as to what they want to have happen.

Meaning of stepchild when contesting a will

stepchild, family provision, testator's family maintenance,

A stepchild’s eligibility under the statutory rules for seeking provision from a step-parent’s deceased estate can be difficult.

In a Victorian case1 the executor of a deceased estate applied to the Supreme Court to have a claim for family provision dismissed.

The claim was brought by the adult daughter of the deceased’s former domestic partner, who had died some years before. She had been left out of his will, despite assurances and promises to the contrary. The deceased had left everything to his new domestic partner.

Stepchild contesting a step-parent’s will – Queensland

stepchild, willshub, step-parent, family provision, In a Queensland case a stepchild was left out of the will of a step-parent. He subsequently sought provision from his step-mother’s estate. She had no natural children of her own. Her husband, the applicant’s father, had pre-deceased her. The applicant was her only step-child. In another situation a claim was brought by seven step-children for adequate provision out of their deceased stepmother’s estate.

When no will is left

When no will is left by a deceased person they are said to have died intestate. Dying intestate means no will is left setting out what is to be done with the deceased’s property. Who is entitled to take their estate?

“Issue children” – some issues with words

issue, issue children, meaning of issue, legal meaning of issue, issue and children, children, wills, will,The word “issue” is a legal term meaning all of a person’s descendants; not just their children. It is easy to overlook this and the potential unwanted consequences for what is intended, if not used correctly when working out wording in a will.

Adult children claiming provision from their parent’s estate – some things to consider

family provision, adult children, estrangement, equality, estate claimAdult children who feel they have not been provided or left out of their parent’s will altogether, may wish to make a claim for provision out of their deceased parent’s estate. Children of a deceased parent are eligible under family provision or testator’s family maintenance legislation to apply to the Court for an order for provision out of their deceased parent’s estate.

Illegitimate children, ex-nuptial children – can they inherit?

illegitimate children, ex-nuptial children, contest a will, challenge a will, inheritance, inheritIllegitimate children are those born outside of marriage, or out of wedlock, in older terminology.  These days the word “illegitimate” has largely been replaced in law by the term “ex-nuptial” – nuptial referring to marriage.  Either way, can an ex-nuptial child inherit from their natural parents?  Or contest a natural parent’s will for provision out of their estate? What if no will was left?  

Who can see the will of a deceased person & can you obtain a copy?

wills, probate, deceased estate, copy of someone's will, To see the contents of a deceased person’s will can be difficult if you are not the executor.  But in some states if you know who has the will, a copy, or other testamentary document, the law requires them to allow people who are entitled to have access, to inspect or see the will; and have a copy of it. Copying is at their own expense, but costs must be reasonable.

Why make a will and what can a will do?

why make a will, make a will, making a will, dying without a will, intestateWhy make a will and what can it do?Why make a will and what can it do? Dying without leaving a will, or leaving an invalid one, is to die intestate. Dying intestate means property left (the estate) is distributed according to the intestacy law. The intestacy law has been prescribed by legislation as the ‘default’ rules to apply in these circumstances. The problem is that the intestacy formula for distribution may not produce the desired outcome.

What is a will?

A will is a testamentary document

A will is a testamentary document, often referred to by lawyers as an ‘instrument’, setting out what a person intends to have happen to their property, (real and personal), and other matters, when they die.  It is the legal way to record a person’s instructions and wishes on how they want their property distributed on the event of their death, and who is to responsible for carrying out those wishes.  Because it is to take effect only on death, a will is referred to as being ‘testamentary’.  A testamentary document or instrument is one which its writer intends, at the time of writing it, to come into effect when they die, and not before. It is where a person sets out their intentions for the distribution of their property when they die.

Youth allowance, super death benefits & tax

StudentIn ID 2014/6 the ATO addressed the question of whether the adult child was dependent on the parent at the time the parent died for the purposes of being a death benefit dependant.

Losing a parent in these circumstances is particularly devastating.  If the young person receives superannuation death benefits from their parent’s superannuation fund, would they be assesed on this money for income tax?

 

Per stirpes, per capita and deceased estate distribution

per stirpes, per capita, wills, estates, will-making, inheritance, children, issue, succession law, law, WillsHubbPer stirpes and per capita refer to the ways in which a person’s estate can be distributed among their descendants (issue). The point is to take into account any family who may have predeceased them.
Understanding how per stirpes and per capita work is important both in making a will and for legal representatives interpreting one.

Issue and children in wills – say what you mean

Issue-CLanguage can be confusing. The way that certain words are used in a will may cause difficulties in interpreting what the willmaker actually meant, but unfortunately may not come to light until they have passed away. Two such words are “children” and “issue”.