Under the terms of the New Zealand Family Protection Act, a child has to be ‘living’ when his parent marries before he can be considered a stepchild.
Alyxe Wood-Luxford, who is now sixteen, was still in his mother’s womb at the time of her marriage to his stepfather. He was raised by the couple until their death in a car crash when he was four. He wasn’t mentioned in either of their wills, which had been written before he was born.
As he wasn’t considered to be ‘living’ at the time of his mother’s marriage, he can’t be legally classed as a stepchild. Therefore his brother, who was born over ten years before their mother got married, inherited the whole of their stepfather’s estate, as well as two thirds of their mother’s estate.
Alyxe was unsuccessful in his legal attempt to challenge his right to his stepfather’s inheritance, but the court acknowledged that he had a ‘strong claim’ to his mother’s estate.