20 Dec 2013

Foetus not a living person, court rules

5:35 pm on 20 December 2013

The Supreme Court has ruled an unborn child cannot have the legal right to claim from a family estate because the foetus is not deemed to be a living person until it is born.

A boy born in 1995 has claimed against his stepfather's multimillion-dollar estate, despite not being included in both his and his wife's wills which were made before he was born.

He was four when his mother and stepfather were killed in a car crash in 2000.

In a majority decision with one judge dissenting, the Supreme Court found that the Family Protection Act does not neatly define the boy as a stepchild, because he isn't considered to have yet been living when the couple's wills were made.

The court said there is evidence that the stepfather gave instructions for a new will providing for the boy and his older brother, but it hadn't been be drawn up before he died.