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VIC Is Spouse Entitled to House She Lives in After Husband's Death?

Discussion in 'Wills and Estate Planning Law Forum' started by netsy, 21 May 2015.

  1. netsy

    netsy Member

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    Hi, my mum and stepfather have been married for 15 years, right now the doctors have told us that stepfather will not survive another winter. Recently he told us that he had changed his last will that states the house that we all live in, the car and everything he owns is to be sold and divided in 20 equal parts to all the people he has nominated as beneficiaries - , mostly friends, church group members, some relatives.

    He does not have any children apart from me being his stepchild, his brother and sisters are deceased, his parents are deceased.

    Does that mean we will be out of the house (he's a sole owner of the house)? My mother has a property as well that is rented out at the moment.

    He is not going to change his will as he is very stubborn and wants to show all his friends his generosity.

    My question is: is there any law in Victoria that would challenge his decision, or can we contest the will and if we do, do we stand any chance of keeping the house?

    And does that mean we will be forever hated by a large number of his friends, as we understand all the beneficiaries get notified if someone is contesting a will?
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi Netsy,

    I assume that the house is in your Stepfather's sole name? If it were jointly owned by your mother and stepfather jointly then it would automatically pass to your mother on his death and bypass the estate completely.

    However if he has sole ownership, it will form part of his estate and the estate will be divided in accordance with his last will and testament. If you believe you have been inadequately provided for in the will, as wife and step-child you and your mother can bring a family provision application to seek a greater inheritance under the will.

    There is also the option of paying out the other beneficiaries shares to them in cash to retain the house, however you would effectively be buying it.
     

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