There are different laws covering compensation or benefits arising from a work injury, being a victim of crime, or transport accidents. Domestic partners or children within the A relationship where people live together as a couple or a family. This describes people’s living arrangements, not their marital status. A domestic relationship can be registered in Victoria. are eligible (see Chapter 10.2: Transport accident injuries; Chapter 10.3: Work injuries; and Chapter 10.6: Assistance for victims of crime).
Claims on a deceased partner’s estate
The Administration and Probate A written law made by parliament. Also called an ‘Act of parliament’, ‘statute’ or legislation. 1958 (Vic) (‘A&P Act’) is one of the Acts amended by the SLAR Act (see ‘Domestic relationships’, above), and now includes domestic partners. The A&P Act now applies where a person dies Without a will. A person is said to have died intestate if they die without making a will. Their property is then distributed to the nearest relatives in a set order according to law. and is survived by a domestic partner or by both a domestic partner and a spouse. Section 51 provides for the partner’s entitlement – ‘partner’ is defined by section 3 as a spouse or domestic partner – and section 51A provides a sliding scale of entitlements where the intestate leaves a domestic partner and a spouse.
If the deceased leaves a A document that sets out what a person wants to happen to their money and other property after they die. that does not adequately provide the proper Money paid to a person to financially support them. When a couple has separated both parents have a duty to support their children, and a court can order a parent to make regular payments to support the children. Maintenance for a spouse is now less common, and must be applied for within 12 months of a divorce. It is usually covered in a final settlement of all property. and support of ‘a person for whom the deceased had a responsibility to maintain and support’, an application can be made to the Supreme An independent body that hears legal claims brought by parties and decides between them. Serious cases are heard by a judge and jury, or just a judge. Less-serious cases are heard by a magistrate. of Victoria for a greater share of the All the property a person has, including real property and personal property. It is often used to describe property belonging to someone who has died, or the property of a bankrupt..
The validity of a will can also be challenged on grounds of unfairness due to the prospective (1) Someone whose money or property is being looked after for them by someone else (called a trustee). (2) A person who is left something in a will, also sometimes called a legatee. See also trust. being estranged from the A person who makes a will. at the time the will was created. For example, in the case of Kiernan v Cranston & Purcell as Executors of Will of Cranston (No 2)  WASC 410, the testator made no provision in her will for her adult children. At the time the will was made, the testator was estranged from both of her children. In the circumstances of the case, the court, using its Power to choose whether to do something or not. For example, a judge may have discretion to allow a party extra time to complete a document if it would be unfair to enforce the legal time limit., amended the will to make provision for the testator’s two children.
This means of contesting wills is relevant to the LGBTIQA+ community as it may often be the case that potential beneficiaries are excluded from a will due to their estrangement from the testator because of their sexual or gender identity.
It used to be that only the widow, widower or children of the deceased could make such an application. Since 20 July 1998, anyone who falls within the description of ‘a person for whom the deceased had a responsibility to maintain and support’ can apply. Where the person died before that date, the previous limitations apply.
For further information, see Chapter 9.3: Wills.
A pension or benefit may be refused or brought to an end on the basis that a parent is living in a ‘marriage-like relationship’. In deciding whether such a relationship exists, all the circumstances of the relationship must be considered, particularly its financial and social aspects, the nature of the household, any sexual relationship between the people, and the nature of their commitment to each other.
As a result of the Commonwealth reforms discussed above, since 1 July 2009 the Social Money or property promised to be handed over as a guarantee for repayment of a loan, or as a guarantee that a defendant will meet their bail conditions. Act 1991 (Cth) treats same-sex couples in the same way as heterosexual de facto couples and married couples. A person living in a same-sex relationship who is receiving, or applying to receive, Centrelink payments must advise Centrelink of their same-sex de facto relationship.
A person who disagrees with a Centrelink decision may apply for that decision to be reviewed by writing to Centrelink. (See the ‘Review of a decision form (SS351)’ on the Services Australia website – www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/forms/ss351.)
If the original decision is upheld, the person may request the decision to be reviewed by the Administrative Appeals A body set up to hear and decide disputes, usually with less formality and less strict rules of evidence than in a court proceeding. (AAT). A request for a review can be made via the AAT’s website, in person, or by telephone (for the AAT’s contact details, see ‘Contacts’ at the end of this chapter).
For more information, see Chapter 12.2: Appealing government and administrative decisions.