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Can an Adopted Child Contest a Will?

Section 57(1) of the Succession Act 2006 lists persons who are eligible to make application for provision (or additional provision) in respect of the estate of a deceased person.  One category is a child of the deceased person.  On the face of it this is quite simple.  However, if a child of the deceased has been adopted out by the deceased shortly after birth and a court order is made, then all legal connection between the child and the biological parents ends.  This means that the child who was adopted out to another family is not considered to be a child who can contest the Will of one or both of the biological parents.  That right ceases at the time when the adoption order is made.  Having said that, the adopted child is an eligible person in respect of his, her or their adoptive parents in the event that the child considers that inadequate provision has been made for him, her or them in the Will of the adoptive parents.  As the rules in relation to adoption and the reuniting of biological parents with adopted children develop, circumstances may arise where an adopted child may fall into another category of an eligible person.

For further information or advice contact our wills and estates expert, Cavelle Lindsay

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