A young boy has been awarded $195,000 after a successful family provision claim at the ? NSW Supreme Court.
The ten-year-old received the money from his deceased grandmother’s estate after it was decided he had not been adequately provided for in the will.
His grandmother wished to leave one tenth of her $1.4 million estate to him, and he had been living with her prior to her death at 66 from a brain tumour in July 2012.
She had been married twice, with her second marriage producing two children – a son and a daughter – and she also had a daughter from a previous marriage.
The whole balance of the estate was given to her first child as a discretionary trust fund, with a view that she would carry out the last requests of the deceased.
Under these guidelines, the remainder of the estate was to be divided between her children, with the firstborn receiving six-tenths, and the other daughter and son taking two-tenths and one-tenth respectively.
The ten-year-old’s family provision claim was the third such claim regarding the case, with his mother and step-brother settling through mediation.
The diseased’s son, who had been estranged from his mother for some time, gave up his share of the estate, claiming through his solicitor that “he [wished] to take no further action”.
Family provision claim success
The courts acknowledged that the child was the deceased’s grandson, and therefore eligible to claim, while also noting that? the grandmother described their relationship as “strong and loving” prior to her death.
In fact, he had lived with his grandmother for six years and she had parental responsibility for him following a court order in 2011. His mother, a diagnosed schizophrenic, lived in a granny flat at the property, while his father is currently serving a prison sentence.
The boy’s tutor made the family provision claim on his behalf, while? his aunt – the grandmother’s firstborn – was the defendant, having been named executrix in the deceased’s will.
Provisions were made to ensure the plaintiff lived with? his aunt following his grandmother’s death. Ultimately, the 10-year-old is now living with his mother after a period in foster care.
A submission made for the child argued that his needs outstripped the provisions in the will. Among his requirements were counselling and therapy for psychological problems, private school fees, private tuition, housing and accommodation and university funds.
As such, $250,000 was requested as a lump sum payment. While this was deemed excessive, the courts decided to raise his proportion of the will to $195,000.