Children challenge father’s estate after receiving nothing in will

Published 30 Jan 2018

The children of a man who left all his assets to his third wife have contested their father’s will at the Supreme Court in order to receive further provisions from the estate.

The deceased passed away from bowel cancer in 2015 after marrying a woman who he met through a friend a year prior to his death. The two wed at the hospital chapel shortly before the man died.

However, three of his five children pursued a family provision claim after their father changed his will to leave the entirety of his $520,000 estate to his wife.

Two of the plaintiffs were daughters from the deceased’s first marriage, while the third was a daughter he fathered during an extramarital affair while married to his second wife.

The deceased’s testamentary intentions

The main asset of the deceased’s estate was a property at Glendenning in outer western Sydney.

In a previous 2014 will, the man left his entire estate to his eldest daughter, who he believed required greater financial assistance than her siblings due to a cervical cancer diagnosis making it hard for her to work and find a partner.

He wrote that the daughter would be able to live in the property until her death, but if she decided to sell the home, the proceeds would be shared equally between six beneficiaries: his five children and a grandchild.

But the man decided to amend his will in September 2015 after meeting his third wife and falling out with his daughters. According to court documents, the primary reason for the estrangement was the deceased’s reluctance to see his children because his physical appearance had deteriorated due to cancer.

Judge rules on family provision claim

Justice Guy Parker ruled that the deceased had not left adequate provisions for his daughters from his estate.

The judge therefore awarded the eldest daughter a legacy of $100,000, while the deceased’s youngest daughter, who was 14 years old at the time of the proceedings, received $25,000.

The three daughters are also set to receive $65,000 each resulting from a one-sixth share of the Glendenning property’s value.

However, these payments will be deferred until a time when the deceased’s third wife chooses where she wishes to live. She is entitled to remain in the property, but if she opts to move she will receive 50 per cent of the home’s value when it is sold.

Do you think you are entitled to further provisions from a loved one’s estate? Contact Gerard Malouf & Partners Will Dispute Lawyers to discuss pursuing a family provision claim.

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