Fashion icon Gloria Vanderbilt has left the majority of her fortune to newscaster son Anderson Cooper. Estimated at around US $1.5 million, the heiress allegedly left her estranged middle child out of the Will.
A history of wealth
Gloria Vanderbilt was the great-great-great granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt, who forged his fortune in railroads and was known as one of the richest Americans in history. Despite the wealthy bloodline, Cooper wasn’t expecting to inherit from his mother’s estate.
In a radio interview with Howard Stern in 2014, he revealed that his mother had “made it clear” that there would be no trust fund. However, after Vanderbilt passed on June 17 of stomach cancer, aged 95-years, her Will allegedly dictated that her youngest child Cooper would benefit from the estate. Her eldest child is reportedly set to inherit property, while her estranged middle son has been omitted from the Will entirely.
What can I do if I have been left out of a Will?
In Australia, different territories handle Will disputes in their own way. Where being left out of Will is considered, however, the underlying principle across the states is that it all depends on the circumstances around the relationship between the deceased and the relevant parties.
The nature of human relationships is that connections often break over time, even in families. If a parent has left a child out of a Will, the Court will examine the reason behind the omission. If a Court finds that the dissolution of the relationship was the parent’s fault, such as a cease in contact because they didn’t like their child’s partner, a Court would likely award provisions to the child.
On the other hand, if the Court finds that the relationship faltered at the fault of the child, for example if the child never visited, it’s unlikely the child would benefit from the estate.
When it comes to estate disputes, it’s vital to get in touch with the experts. Gerard Malouf & Partners Will Disputes Lawyers are confident in our abilities to reach a favourable outcome for your claim. For a complimentary 90-day trial of our legal services, reach out to our team.