Post Carer

Who can challenge a will?

In Victoria, it’s not just anyone can challenge a will if they were left out or didn’t get what they felt was a fair share in inheritance.   You have to be an eligible person before you can challenge with such a claim.

Only some classes of people related to the deceased can challenge unfair wills

“eligible person” means—

(a)     a person who was the spouse or domestic partner of the deceased at the time of the deceased’s death;

(b)     a child of the deceased, including a child adopted by the deceased who, at the time of the deceased’s death, was—

              (i)     under the age of 18 years; or

              (ii)     a full-time student aged between 18 years and 25 years; or

              (iii)     a child with a disability;

(c)     a stepchild of the deceased who, at the time of the deceased’s death, was—

(i)     under the age of 18 years; or

(ii)     a full-time student aged between 18 years and 25 years; or

(iii)     a stepchild with a disability;

(d)     a person who, for a substantial period during the life of the deceased, believed that the deceased was a parent of the person and was treated by the deceased as a natural child of the deceased who, at the time of the deceased’s death, was—

(i)     under the age of 18 years; or

(ii)     a full-time student aged between 18 years and 25 years; or

(iii)     a child with a disability;

(e)     a former spouse or former domestic partner of the deceased if the person, at the time of the deceased’s death—

(i)     would have been able to take proceedings under the Family Law Act 1975 of the Commonwealth; and

(ii)     has either—

(A)     not taken those proceedings; or

(B)     commenced but not finalised those proceedings; and

(iii)     is now prevented from taking or finalising those proceedings because of the death of the deceased;

(f)     a child or stepchild of the deceased not referred to in paragraph (b) or (c);

(g)     a person who, for a substantial period during the life of the deceased, believed that the deceased was a parent of the person and was treated as a natural child of the deceased not referred to in paragraph (d);

(h)     a registered caring partner of the deceased;

(i)     a grandchild of the deceased;

(j)     a spouse or domestic partner of a child of the deceased (including a stepchild or a person referred to in paragraph (d) or (g)) if the child of the deceased dies within one year of the deceased’s death;

(k)     a person who, at the time of the deceased’s death, is (or had been in the past and would have been likely in the near future, had the deceased not died, to again become) a member of the household of which the deceased was also a member.

Will makers should update their wills if it is likely that a dispute between  loved ones and family will arise after death

As you can see there is not much hope for someone who was considered family but was not in the household eg neighbour or friend or carer.   The cost of getting advice on estate planning and drawing a proper will is negligible in comparison to what a deceased estate can lose in costs upon good claim being made.