WILLS –DOES THE TERM “GRANDCHILDREN’ INCLUDE “STEP-GRANDCHILDREN”?
Identifying whether the expressions step children and step-grandchildren are included in the expressions children and grandchildren can cause confusion in Wills .
When all else fails, Courts try to determine expressions in the Will according to the intention of the deceased. Courts may in some cases look into family relationships and their closeness in order to determine the meaning of an expression such as “child”. In a recent case where there was an intention in the Will for step-grandchildren to be beneficiaries, it was decided that the definition of “grandchild” could be extended to “step-grandchild.”
If there was no clear intention, it will be assumed that nothing was intended other than the ordinary meaning of the word. However it may be that in today’s society, Courts are more amenable to extending “child “to step-child” and so on.
This will not necessarily apply in all cases.
In the meantime, some points to consider