Three daughters were recently awarded $50,000, $40,000 and $35,000, respectively, after Contesting a Will belonging to their late father in which he left them nothing.
They were plaintiffs in a Family Provision claim made through the NSW Supreme Court and whose case was heard in March 2013.
Their father had left his entire Estate to his wife (his second, and not the mother of the plaintiffs). The plaintiffs, his daughters from his first marriage, were left out of his Will.
Because of this, the daughters decided to contest the Will.
They claimed that he had not make sufficient provision for their proper maintenance or advancement in life through his Will.
After a hearing in the NSW Supreme Court, the judge determined in favour of the plaintiffs.
He found that the effect of the deceased’s Will, which left nothing to the plaintiffs, was that it was insufficient in the provisions made for them.
In deciding the value of the provision to be awarded to each plaintiff, as is the rule in such proceedings, the judge considered the financial resources of each.
Noting that neither had a “capital fund for the exigencies of life”, he determined that each should receive a different lump sum based on their situation, with the total provision awarded to all three amounting to $125,000.
As the actual Estate of the deceased was insufficient to cover these provision claims, it was decided that they would come out of the notional Estate, which in this case comprised property held by the deceased and his wife.
This case is a good example of how family members can Contest a Will when they feel they have not received their fair share in the distribution of a loved one’s Estate.
There are a number of requirements to satisfy when pursuing a Family Provision claim, and that is why speaking to specialist Contesting Wills lawyers is critical.
They can advise you on your eligibility to make a claim based on inadequate provision in a Will, and if you are eligible, can help you to progress your claim through the correct channels.
The time after a loved one has passed away can be stressful without the turbulence that a Will dispute can add, and talking to experts is highly recommended for those unsure of where they stand legally in relation to the Will of a relative.