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Next of Kin

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All you need to know .  .  .

There is no legal definition of the expression "next of kin".  However,  the term is widely used.   It is more a socially pragmatic term rather than a strict legal term.

Although most married people would regard their spouse as their next of kin, the dictionary meaning is usually your nearest "blood" (genetic) relative.  This is not always the case.  Some definitions simply say your “nearest relative’ so this could be your relative by marriage, not blood. For example, a commom definition seems to be :

"the person who is most closely related to <

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Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Access/Custody/Guardianship
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My partner and I found all your family sites really good. We are fighting a maintenance and custody dispute with his ex and we cannot get legal aid so we are trying to go it alone and your site really helps. The judge actually commented on our documents saying that they were good. Thanks again . . . . Tuia"

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"Bloody Hell! You provide us with the documentation as well! This is great stuff. I will still use a lawyer but I now have enough information to make some informed decisions myself.
Kevin M - Hamilton"

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"Helpful . . . Muriel"
"Gosh these Trust documents are so long. There should be shorter documents. but I suppose they are necessary. But good of you to include so many docments in your site. We have been helped by your wills sites too. John Mc."
"Bloody Hell! You provide us with the documentation as well! This is great stuff. I will still use a lawyer but I now have enough information to make some informed decisions myself.
Kevin M - Hamilton"

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"Dear Net Law,
I am perplexed on a matter concerning challenging a will. My father is a very elderly man living in New Zealand, my mother passed away some 35 years ago; I have 6 siblings – 5 males - 1 female all well over the age of 18 years. My father has verbally informed me I shall not be a beneficiary, and/or at best in a minor way. I am not an executor of my fathers will nor have I have seen its contents. My father’s verbal communication has various versions dependent upon his mood. As I understand the situation from your website I can get a copy of my fathers will once probate has been granted and the will is in the public domain, hence one can then get a full understanding of the contents of the will. However how does one challenge a will once probate has been granted?

Netlaw advises: You must advise the executor of the will within 6 months that you intend making a claim and you have 12 months from probate being granted to lodge the claim. But do so as soon as you can.

Netlaw
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"Dear Netlaw,
I have just found out that i have been left out of my grandparents will. I am 1 of 4 grandchildren and the others are named in the will. How successful might i be in contesting and what is the first step in this process - i am not sure at this point wether it is financially viable to contest as i may end up spending more money contesting through lawyers - your thoughts?
Thanks.

Netlaw replies: You are able to contest a will of a grandparent. Equal sharing is NOT one of the legal principles but the Family Court would want to know why you were left out. We have all the law and procedure on Netlaw but try a good look at the New Zealand Family Court website and look for headings under the Family Protection Act 1955 or "Contesting a Will". There is some good stuff on that website. You could do it yourself if you are prepared to spend a bit of time. There is a section on the Family Court website on representing yourself.

Hope this helps . . . Richard at Netlaw"

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"Very helpful . . . McBreen"
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"Great coverage to have it all laid out. Could you try and give us some uncomplicated documents. yours are useful but are there any simpler docs? Keep up the good work. A really helpful website. Graeme H. Wellington - May 2007"
"I have made good use of this topic and the other topics on Wills. Well done. Jim H (retired) - Devonport - May 2007"
"Bloody Hell! You provide us with the documentation as well! This is great stuff. I will still use a lawyer but I now have enough information to make some informed decisions myself.
Kevin M - Hamilton"

"Hi Netlaw...i have found your site very helpful to me in applying for a parent order. Anexcellent site with the right information, easy to use steps.

Thanks so much :)))"

"HI, posted yesterday trying to find application boilerplate for challenging will due to unsound mind (with medical evidence). Thanks"
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