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Am I a 'Member of the Same Household'?

In New South Wales, if you were a person who was both:

  • Wholly or partly dependent upon the deceased; AND

  • A member of the same household as the deceased;

... you are eligible to make a claim upon their estate.

The phrase ‘member of the same household’ is not defined in the Act, but judges have said it requires some continuity or permanency of living arrangements.

It is possible to be a member of more than one household. For example, children in a shared custody arrangement may be a member of more than one household.

In one case a judge said that it is relevant whether or not a person has a key to the house. The court will consider the unique circumstances of each case.

Questions as to whether a boarder is a member of a household are more complicated. If you are a boarder at the time of death your circumstances may be one of a ‘close personal relationship’.

Simply being a member of the same household does not mean you are eligible to make a claim. You also need to show that you have factors warranting the making an application and you that you were dependent upon the deceased.

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