Adult son awarded $500,000 from mother’s estate

Published 22 May 2018

A man has been awarded $500,000 following a successful family provision claim against his deceased mother’s estate. The 67-year-old plaintiff contested the will after his siblings – a twin sister and a younger brother – received a greater share of their mother’s assets when she died in 2015.

The deceased left the plaintiff a parcel of land worth nearly $248,000. However, his sister was bequeathed the $2 million family home, while his brother received a separate property, which was valued at $1.75 million.

NSW Supreme Court documents provide insight into how the judge weighed up the competing claims on the estate. Let’s take a closer look at the findings.

Why did the plaintiff receive less from the estate?

The deceased stated in her will that she wanted to offer less provision for her eldest son because he had received considerable financial support from her during his life.

This included living with her rent-free for approximately 18 years after his divorce in 1996. She also claimed to have paid almost $130,000 in legal fees towards her son’s split from his wife.

Meanwhile, the deceased argued that her daughter had provided significant assistance in her later years as her health declined, including allowing the deceased to stay at her home on a number of occasions following operations.

Was the plaintiff in need of provision?

While not destitute, the plaintiff was shown to be worse off financially than his siblings and had been unable to secure stable accommodation after being forcibly removed from his mother’s home in 2014.

Nevertheless, he owns land worth $210,000 and has $50,000 in a Greek bank account, as well as the $248,000 gifted in the estate.

The plaintiff also appears to be owed approximately $329,000 from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission from a property dispute settlement between him and his ex-wife. In total, he was ruled to have resources worth $836,000.

The judge makes a decision on will dispute

Relationships between the siblings were extremely strained, but the defendants admitted the plaintiff had not received adequate provision from the will. Justice Geoff Lindsay agreed and awarded the plaintiff $500,000 in addition to the $248,000 legacy in his mother’s will.

This case is a good example of how legitimate claimants can still successfully seek further provision from a loved one’s will, even if they have already received a share of the assets.

Have you been left out of a will or feel you have not been adequately provided for from a relative’s estate? Gerard Malouf & Partners Will Dispute Lawyers can help, so please get in touch today.

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