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Children of deceased man receive $100,000 after family provision claim

The son and daughter of a man who left his entire estate to his wife have successfully been awarded $100,000 each after filing a family provision claim.

Court documents show the two adult children were from the deceased’s first marriage and had previously given up a share in their grandmother’s inheritance in order to financially assist their father.

Following his mother’s death in 2005, the deceased pursued an inheritance dispute because he had only been left $100,000 from her $1.2 million estate. His children agreed to a deed of arrangement that provided him with a further $112,600.

However, the court heard this agreement was largely premised on the fact that the deceased would make provisions for his children in his own will. As this didn’t occur, the judge felt legacies of $100,000 were justified.

Wife appeals family provision claim

The wife of the deceased opted to appeal the family provision claim decision. She argued that the original judge failed to adequately take into consideration the effect the legacies would have on her share of the assets.

Furthermore, the wife said the money the deceased’s children had given to her husband following the death of his mother was largely spent on care costs. As such, this should not infer an ongoing obligation on the deceased’s estate.

Nevertheless, the appellate judges overruled the wife’s objections. Firstly, they noted that even with two $100,000 legacies subtracted from her share, she would still receive around $1 million from the estate.

The wife also sold land and a business jointly owned with her husband for approximately $3.2 million. The claimants’ legacies constituted just 6.5 per cent of the capital sum the widow received from these sales.

Inheritance dispute continues

In addition to the wife’s circumstances, the judges also examined the monetary situation of the deceased’s children.

According to court documents, both had immediate financial needs, as they had children with medical conditions that had accompanying physical disabilities. The judges felt it was therefore reasonable for the claimants to expect to be beneficiaries in their father’s will.

The wife’s appeal was therefore rejected and the legacies are to remain intact. The appellant’s costs were calculated at $200,000, while the children of the deceased accrued expenses of $170,000.

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Contesting Wills
 — Gerard Malouf & Partners

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