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stepchildren

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dideoh View Drop Down
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  Quote dideoh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: stepchildren
    Posted: 11/August/2012 at 09:28
My husband (60) and I (59) married 6 years ago. He has a daughter who is now 18 from a previous relationship. I have 2 adult children and 4 grandchildren from a previous marriage. We live in NSW
I gave up my career to support my husband as his job was very demanding, required shiftwork and being away for days. His daughter often lived fulltime with us, sometimes part time and sometimes no time (depending on which parent was popular at the time).
We entered into the marriage on an reasonably equal basis financially and agreed to pool our assets. I had a superannuation policy worth $35,000 - he had almost no super. He had a few miscellaneous debts.
Now we own 3 small properties all as tenants in common. Our total equity would be about $350,000.
He has salary sacrificed over the past 6 years so that his super is $100,000. He has conceded to make a binding nomination with me as the sole beneficiary.
I recently cashed in my super to invest in our 3rd house which we intend to retire to in 2-5 years.
We need to make new wills.
I am concerned as my adult children have missed out on inheriting from grandparents due to remarriages, their father died under tragic circumstances and I would like to know that what little I have goes to them when I die- while at the same time considering my husband if he survives me.
My husband is a very honest and moral man but he is also forgetful, unconcerned, not motivated to act in regards to wills. If I die before him, it is quite possible he will not act to make provision for my children in regards to shared assets that he might inherit on my death.
His daughter hates me and I am concerned that despite the years I spent caring for her - and I did care for her with love and responsibility- she would not hesitate to contest wills and take whatever she could. She will possibly inherit some money from grandparents in the years ahead.
I know that we need to consider our situation carefully and need expert advice. However, I need to start expressing our situation so that I/we can begin the process of making wills and caring for each other.
Does my husband's daughter have to be mentioned in my will- does she have any claim in my will?
I welcome any feedback on our situation

goingbonkers View Drop Down
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  Quote goingbonkers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/August/2012 at 10:00
It is very important that you clearly state in your will why you have chosen to exclude your step daughter. You don't need to leave here anything but you must make you reasons clear. When/if she contests your will the judge may take you reasons into account.. Your properties being held as tenants in common is very good as you can leave your share to your kids. Their is no doubt as a dependant and a member of your household she can contest your will.
The judge will likely ignore your Will, and give your savings to whoever they think should have it'http://changefpa.com.au

MartinO View Drop Down
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  Quote MartinO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/August/2012 at 20:07
The sure fire way to limit any chalange of a will is to treat the children and step children equally, regardless of any perception of one of them hating you. Remember their hate is their problem, not yours.
I am NOT a lawyer. Anything said is NOT legal advice.

Please post your legal questions in a forum rather than sending a PM. Thanks.

dideoh View Drop Down
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  Quote dideoh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18/August/2012 at 16:01
thank you for your responses. I take on board the comment that hate is my stepdaughter's problem not mine.
However, I do not want to leave anything to my stepdaughter as she will be provided for by her natural parents and grandparents. My children have only what little I have.
I treated my stepdaughter with love and caring while also trying to be a responsible stepparent. She does not reciprocate and I feel no need to provide for her any more now that she has left home and is independent.
Would it be sufficient to state in my will that "I make no provision for my stepdaughter---" without going into any reason as to why I have made this decision

AsiaOilDude View Drop Down
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  Quote AsiaOilDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18/August/2012 at 16:10
I would make a small but financially insignificant provision -that way she can't begin the argument by saying that nothing was given. I'd also make it clear that you are providing for your own natural born children above her for specific reasons of your own.

You may also consider gifting things before you pass to your children.

Superannuation and insurance disbursements can be nominated separate to a will - I would nominate those to your children.
Not legal advice. Personal opinion only. Seek legal advice from qualified personnel only.

goingbonkers View Drop Down
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  Quote goingbonkers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18/August/2012 at 18:59
Apart from what's already been said you can go here
The judge will likely ignore your Will, and give your savings to whoever they think should have it'http://changefpa.com.au

MartinO View Drop Down
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  Quote MartinO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18/August/2012 at 22:22
If you do take on board the information given in the previous posts, you could make a small bequest to her in your will and state that it is less than that given to your natural children, because she will be provided for adequately by her natural parents and her grandparents, and you do not want to reduce the amount available for your own natural children as they will not have any other such sources.
I am NOT a lawyer. Anything said is NOT legal advice.

Please post your legal questions in a forum rather than sending a PM. Thanks.

dideoh View Drop Down
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  Quote dideoh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19/August/2012 at 09:12
I Browsed through the link from Going Bonkers re letter to Chloe Fox. Whew that is a task for the average person to wrestle with. I take it that those of you who are more conversant with this situation would be sending letters to our MP's.

As I head towards the title of "senior" (tho not quite there yet) I feel a moral obligation to our society to examine instances where change is needed to provide a fairer and more equitable society for our children's children. This can be challenging when one is not fully conversant of the discourse associated with the issue at hand.

dideoh View Drop Down
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  Quote dideoh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19/August/2012 at 09:32
As MartinO suggested

"I give my step daughter (Name included) $100.00 (One hundred dollars) given that it is less than that given to my natural children, because she will be provided for adequately by her natural parents and her grandparents, and I do not want to reduce the amount available for my own natural children as they will not have any other such sources. I feel no moral or financial obligation in providing for her after my death".

So my husband and I have our properties as tenants in common which is a good thing and I have made this above statement in my will - is that enough? Can my stepdaughter still contest my will and even if she fails, the court cost and angst would take away any benefit from my children. She may consider that action.

My children are such that they would not want to go through the anxiety of courts -their own father was murdered in a horrific manner when they were teens. The perpetrator of the crime was arrested but sadly tho he was guilty was not convicted. We know the pain of courts too well.

I now have no superannuation as it went toward the deposit on our modest retirement home. My husband has a growing super fund as he salary sacrifices. He has made a binding nomination with me as beneficiary. He has acknowledged that given I have relinquished my career to support him- and his daughter in past years, that he has a responsibility to ensure that my retirement is considered in the event that he dies first. However, should I die first, his daughter then will inherit this superannuation which in fact should be split 50% to his daughter and 50% between my 2 children.

I value your comments - please note I will be seeking professional advice. At present I am trying to get a clearer picture of what is required, what is fair and what needs to be considered when there a stepdaughter who has legal rights and is prepared to pursue them. It is sad that tho I was responsible, caring and concerned for his daughter when she needed me, that in my older age, I will be vulnerable to her and that there is no requirement on her part to care for me in my older age!

AsiaOilDude View Drop Down
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  Quote AsiaOilDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19/August/2012 at 13:40
I would suggest $100 is a bit low for this purpose. I'd suggest $1000 or $2000 - it's a figure I've seen more than once in wills - it's large enough to be a significant gift but small enough not to effect the overall assets being distributed.
Not legal advice. Personal opinion only. Seek legal advice from qualified personnel only.

dideoh View Drop Down
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  Quote dideoh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21/August/2012 at 20:09
Thanks for your feedback. I believe I have come up with a solution. I am leaving the residue of my estate to my husband after allocating any real estate to whom I want and a few personal items. We do not have a lot of household things of any great value, but whoever is the surviving spouse will need those items eg fridge, car, furniture. We not not have a lot of cash in our bank account. So if I leave the residue of my estate to my stepdaughter and spouse to share as they see fit, then anything my stepdaughter takes is up to him. My children have no need to be involved in that.

So how long does my stepdaughter has any right to make a claim against my estate? Is this forever as long as I am alive? What if my husband dies first and 10 years or so down the track I die (and perhaps remarried in between -tho that is highly unlikely) - does she still have this right?

goingbonkers View Drop Down
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  Quote goingbonkers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21/August/2012 at 20:56
An application for a family provision order must be made not later than 12 months after the date of the death of the deceased person, unless the Court otherwise orders on sufficient cause being shown.

Step children claims

http://www.contestingwills.com.au/newsletterApr12.asp
The judge will likely ignore your Will, and give your savings to whoever they think should have it'http://changefpa.com.au

dideoh View Drop Down
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  Quote dideoh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/September/2012 at 11:58
I was wondering how long my stepdaughter has a legitimate claim on my assets eg: In 5/10/15 years time. I understand that she has to make the claim within 12 months of my death but for how long does her "right" to claim last. What if her father-my husband died and I remarried, does she still have a right- Is it as long as I am alive that she has a claim against my estate when I die?

dideoh View Drop Down
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  Quote dideoh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/September/2012 at 12:12
My husband needs to consider how he is going to make his will too. I have to stir him up about that!
What would be a "fair" way to go about it.
We have about $300,000 in property assets - as tenants in common
$100,000 in super which he has me as the beneficiary solely.
That is about it really.
He has a job that pays well enough, I gave up my job 6 years ago to support him and his daughter. I helped him finish his degree in the past few years as well.
He is 60 I am 59.
His daughter is now going to uni and will probably inherit something in years to come from her grandparents. I have 2 adult kids and 4 grandchildren.
Seeing as I get all the super, how should he divide his 1/2 share he has in our real estate? Should his daughter inherit the full 1/2 share- which means I have to sort out a house, find a job but I do have $100,000 in our super.
From my previous posts, I have mentioned the problem I have with my stepdaughter. She does not like me so if her father dies, there may be issues.

MartinO View Drop Down
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  Quote MartinO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/September/2012 at 15:49
I note you keep referring to her as 'his daughter', she is actually your step daughter, and in law rate equally with any natural offspring you have. Perhaps you need to spend some time getting your head around this, and knocking down some walls rather than reinforcing them.

Happy families are built on love and trust, not on barriers. Sometimes a big person is needed to make a start to the process.
I am NOT a lawyer. Anything said is NOT legal advice.

Please post your legal questions in a forum rather than sending a PM. Thanks.

dideoh View Drop Down
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  Quote dideoh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/September/2012 at 08:15
Thank you MartinO for that reminder. You are quite correct and I agree with that concept.
I am in the process of trying to restore my equilibrium regarding my relationship with my stepdaughter. There has been some significant hurts that need to be mended on both sides. Young people are very ignorant of their impact on others- I was a very ignorant self centred teen. I believe I have changed as I aged but being human, I still err.

Nonetheless, I am trying to establish what is "fair". My stepdaughter will be cared for by her father and her mother. My children have only what little I have. Their own father was violently murdered when they were teens so there is a lot of background to my story - as there is to everyones. I just want my children to at least benefit a little from the little that I have. My husband is not proactive in this regard and has expressed no interest in "providing" for his stepchildren- nor do I expect him to except to hopefully consider them if I die first and leave property to him so that he can have at least some degree of comfort.

My children's paternal grandfather remarried after his wife died and left everything to his new wife. She died and left everything to her children. My daughter had built a lovely relationship with him after her Dad was murdered and with her stepgrandmother- whom she named her second child after. My children do not harbour any ill about this. So I am very proud of them - which makes my desire to see that they are not left out, all the stronger.

At the end of the day, it is not money that counts and I know that.

MartinO View Drop Down
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  Quote MartinO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/September/2012 at 09:36
Thanks, and good luck with everything.
I am NOT a lawyer. Anything said is NOT legal advice.

Please post your legal questions in a forum rather than sending a PM. Thanks.

AsiaOilDude View Drop Down
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  Quote AsiaOilDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/September/2012 at 06:37
Try to outlive your hubby. Eat healthy, get fit and focus on your quality of life.
Not legal advice. Personal opinion only. Seek legal advice from qualified personnel only.

dideoh View Drop Down
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  Quote dideoh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30/November/2012 at 21:26
As a postscript, Martino you might be interested to know that I have begun the process of restoring my relationship with my stepdaughter. Life is a lot nicer without the feelings of hurt and distrust getting in the way. Even though I am an adult with grandkids, I am still learning.I still make mistakes. The child in me took a while to work thorough my own agenda and to let go of it so that my stepdaughter and I could communicate and forgive.
I was grateful for your reminder, hard as it may have been.

MartinO View Drop Down
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  Quote MartinO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30/November/2012 at 21:31
Congratulations, it can be a hard road, but building a relationship can be very rewarding for all.

Good luck.
I am NOT a lawyer. Anything said is NOT legal advice.

Please post your legal questions in a forum rather than sending a PM. Thanks.

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