Step Child Contesting a Will in Queensland.
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Considerations for Step Children Contesting a Will
Stepchildren are specifically referred to as eligible applicants to a will contest in Queensland and in quiet a complicated way. Stepchildren in Queensland are defined as follows:
A person is a stepchild of a deceased person if the person is the child of a spouse of the deceased person and a relationship of stepchild and step-parent between the person and the deceased person did not stop under Section 2.
Section 2. The relationship of stepchild and step-parent stops on the divorce of the deceased person and the stepchild's parent or the termination of the civil partnership between the deceased person and the stepchild's parent or the ending of the de facto relationship between the deceased person in the stepchild's parent.
The Queensland Act of Parliament goes on to say this:
To remove any doubt, it is declared that the relationship of stepchild and step-parent does not stop merely because;
1. The stepchild's parent died before the deceased person, if the marriage, civil partnership or de facto relationship between the deceased person and the parent subsisted when the parent died or;
2. The deceased person remarried, entered into a civil partnership or formed a de factor relationship after the death of the stepchild's parent, if the marriage, civil partnership or de facto relationship between the deceased person and the parent subsisted when the parent died.
In other words, if you are a stepchild and your mother or father remained in a marriage or de facto marriage arrangement with your step-parent which only ended because of the death of you parent... you are eligible to claim provision out of the estate of your step-parent.
Exception to the Rule.
Adoptions. Children are eligible to make a family provision claim in each State so if by chance your step-parent adopted you then in that case you would not actually be a 'stepchild' but a 'child' within the law of each State and entitled to apply for provision out of the estate without the need to prove anything other than financial need for support.
As a child making a Family Provision Claim all you need to demonstrate to the court is your need for provision and that the deceased failed to make adequate provision for your proper maintenance and support.
Step children are referred to many times in the law in this State. If you are under the age of 18 years or a student aged between 18 and 25 years or a stepchild with a disability you are eligible to claim family provision, in Victoria more commonly referred to as Testators Family Maintenance Claims.
Once you have demonstrated you eligibility you must prove to the court (or mediator) that at the time of his or her death your step-parent had a moral duty to provide for your proper maintenance and support and that the distribution of your step-parents estate failed to make proper provision for your proper maintenance and support.
The success of your claim will depend upon the available funds in the estate to be divided between other competitor and beneficiaries.