Our clients’ father died in 2018 leaving his entire estate to his wife, our clients’ stepmother. No provision was made for any of his three children, including our clients.
Both of our clients had been estranged from their father since they were 21 years old, some 20 years ago. Upon learning of their father’s death and that they had been excluded from his will our clients approached Gerard Malouf and Partners to speak with our will dispute lawyers to find out about their rights contesting a will.
The Estate consisted of the marital home, some savings and a modest amount of superannuation. Based on the lengthy estrangement, the age of our clients, lack of dependence on the deceased and competing claim of the widow this was certain to be a hard-fought claim. Our will dispute lawyers determined that despite the difficulties our clients had reasonable prospects of succeeding in a claim for family provision.
In a family provision claim it is important to not only establish that you are an eligible person (generally spouse, child, dependent) but also that you have a financial need to be provided for, and that the deceased had an obligation and ability to meet that need.
As such it is important that an affidavit is carefully drafted to address all matters of importance to ensure the best result is achieved. Our dedicated and experienced contesting wills team got to work gathering all relevant evidence and drafting affidavits for each client.
Each affidavit was carefully and skilfully drafted setting out the relationship they each shared with their father, the reason for the estrangement, their current personal and financial circumstances and how they intended to utilise any provision made for them from their late father’s estate.
After this evidence was served, we were able to enter into informal settlement discussions with the estate. Through these negotiations were able to successfully resolve both matters on the basis each son would receive provision of $50,000 from their father’s estate. This process allowed a quick and amicable resolution of the claim without going through the Court process to a hearing.
Have you been left out of a will or do you believe the amount you have been left is inadequate? Call Gerard Malouf & Partners today for a free consultation on your legal rights to contest a will.