The Court will make orders for amounts to be paid from a deceased estate for the maintenance, education, or advancement in life, of an eligible person who has received inadequate attention in a will.
That is not to say that any family member has a right to receive a certain portion of a deceased person’s estate, but the Court has the discretion to alter a will if it sees fit.
The deceased had an estate worth around $813,000.
The deceased had no meaningful contact with two of her three daughters in the five years leading up to her death.
Her will only provided $10,000 to each of the estranged daughters, leaving the third daughter with the rest of the estate.
A parent is entitled to cut a child out of their will, particularly if there has been a serious break down in the relationship. However, it came to light in this case that the daughters only became estranged after one of them complained of being abused by another family member as a child.
In these circumstances, the judge said that the basis of the bad relations was not enough to justify such small gifts in the will and the estranged daughters were awarded $90,000 and $150,000 respectively.
It goes to show that those who are eligible to make a claim can take advantage of the Court’s wide discretion to alter a will.
If you are interested in challenging a will or have questions about your eligibility, call us today on (02) 9440 1202.