Stenner v Hughes [2020] NZFC 963

Published 29 May 2020

Testamentary promise — limitation of actions — leave to apply out of time — provision for step-children — house — Bearman v Hardie-Boys [1973] 2 NZLR 204 — Van Uden v Van Uden [2013] NZHC 520 — Re Sherlock (1999) 18 FRNA 5000 — Re Coyne (2005) NZFLR 678 — Dwight v Ross [2018] NZHC 1764 — Re Autonivich (deceased) [1995] NZFLR 942 — Law Reform (Testamentary Promises) Act 1949, ss 3 & 6. The applicants applied for leave to make a claim out of time. They alleged the deceased (their stepmother) had breached a testamentary promise by failing to provide for them in her will after she inherited the entirety of their father's estate. The claim was made only six weeks after the statutory limitation and was mostly due to delay caused by legal representation issues. The executors of the estate were aware that the applicants were contesting the will and no distributions had been made, so nobody would be unfairly prejudiced if leave was granted. There was also evidence that the applicants had a reasonable claim with a chance of success. For these reasons leave to apply out of time was granted. A date was to be scheduled for the substantive hearing. Judgment Date: 14 February 2020.