Published 27 Nov 2013
Author: David Cossalter
The Supreme Court of New South Wales recently handed down a decision in a matter where an Adult Son made a Will Disputes Claim on his Late Father’s Estate.
Mr Theoctistou was sixty one years of age, married and had three independent adult children at the time this matter was heard before the Court.
Mr Theoctistou’s Father passed away in August 2011, leaving an Estate worth approximately $820,000.00. The Deceased had four adult children and a Wife (Mr Theoctistou’s Step Mother) at the time of his death.
The Deceased left $50,000.00 to each of his children and the remainder of his Estate to his Wife.
Mr Theoctistou and his Wife owned their home, worth approximately $400,000.00, however, owed a mortgage and other debts and loans worth almost $400,000.00.
Mr Theoctistou suffered a stroke in 2006 and had recently been diagnosed with Cancer. His ongoing health issues prevent him from undertaking full time work. Mr Theoctistou’s wife worked full time and their total household income was significantly less than their regular weekly expenditure.
Mr Theoctistou’s Step Mother was in a much stronger financial position. She owned a number of properties, from which she drew her income. She had no significant debts and had over $176,000.00 in bank accounts.
The Court weighed the two opposing positions between Mr Theoctistou and his Step Mother (widow of the Deceased) and found that the Deceased should have provided for his Son’s needs to a greater degree than the $50,000.00 he had been left.
Accordingly, the Court made an Order that Mr Theoctistou was to receive a gift of $250,000.00 from the Estate of his Late Father, and that his legal costs of the proceedings also be paid from the Estate. By contesting a Will, Mr Theoctistous obtained an additional $200,000.00.
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