In your Will you select particular people to be the beneficiaries of your Estate. In considering who these people will be, it is important that you are aware that particular people in your life have the right to make a claim against your Estate. These “eligible people” include a spouse, a de-facto partner, your children and dependents. It is important to be aware of who are considered to be a “de-facto” or “children”. For instance, children also include adopted children.

With de-facto partners, you may think that because you and your partner are not living together, they are therefore not considered a de-facto. However, in a case in NSW, the Court decided that a woman who was living separately from her partner, although staying at his house a few times a week, was an “eligible person”.

These people could make a claim to receive more than what you have left them in your Will or, if they haven’t been included in your Will, they could make a claim to receive a share of your Estate. If you need to make or update a Will and are concerned about the risk of claims against your Estate you should seek legal advice