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Be careful what you wish for … when a grandchild gets too greedy

Succession Law News | February 2015

In the case of Chapple v Wilcox [2014] NSWCA 392 the deceased left a Will leaving the whole of his estate valued at about $350,000 to his only child, a daughter. The daughter had a son.

The son brought a claim under the Succession Act for a "family provision" order. These types of orders allow the court to make orders for the proper maintenance, education or advancement in life in favour of eligible persons, for whom adequate provision has not been made in the Will of the deceased.

In this case the son had the capacity to earn about $100,000 a year, but elected to earn a minimal amount in his own business. He had no assets and he had a substantial debt. The son's father had offered the son financial assistance. The son had minimal contact with the deceased.

The deceased's daughter, had dedicated a considerable amount of time in the care and welfare of the deceased including making substantial contribution to the deceased's assets.

The primary judge referred to "community standards and expectations" which would lead to a decision in favour of the son and he made an order for most of the value of the estate be awarded to the son over a period of time.

The Court of Appeal overturned that decision citing it as "insupportable" on the facts of this case and described the decision as unreasonable and plainly unjust.

Forum Law can advise on family provision claims where you may wish to raise a claim or defend a claim. We can advise you on the collection and analysis of appropriate evidence to support or defend a claim. We can also advise you on the possibility of a claim being raised in respect of your Will, and advise you on how to minimise the success of any claim to dispute the terms of your Will.

Forum Law is an active member of several reputable law and industry associations. We have recently obtained ISO9001 accreditation.