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NSW Can Sister Contest Mother's Will?

Discussion in 'Wills and Estate Planning Law Forum' started by Kristy64, 13 March 2016.

  1. Kristy64

    Kristy64 Member

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    Hello,

    Eighteen years ago, I purchased a house with my mother as tenants in common. At the time, my mother contributed some of her finances towards the purchase and we took out a joint mortgage for the remainder funds.

    As my mother was on a pension and I was working full time I repaid the weekly mortgage repayments and continue to do so. Over the years, we have re-mortgaged a couple of times to renovate, add additions and improve the property.

    Six years ago, my mother became very ill and needed to be cared for on a full-time basis, I left my employer of nineteen years to become her full-time carer as I had no other alternative. I have one older sister who has never provided or offered any type of support or assistance towards the care of our mother.

    My mother and my sister have never had a close relationship for many years and there was even a period of three years where they never had any contact with each other at all. The only form of contact they had over recent years was the odd text and my sister did not even bother to visit my mother the numerous times that she had to spend in hospital.

    Three months ago, my mother was rushed to the hospital and was given only a week to live. I advised my sister who was overseas at the time but made no effort to come back and spend the last moments of our mother's life with her. My mother passed away after spending six days in the hospital.

    In my mother's will, I have been nominated as the sole Executor of Will and she has left me her share of the property that we purchased together. My sister has been left with a very small amount of cash and her reasoning behind this was that my sister is very financially stable, has retired at a very early age and she and her husband have various property and assets. My mother has also given my sister large amounts over the years.

    Other reasons being the type of relationship that they had and the fact that my sister made no effort towards contributing or supporting the welfare of my mother throughout the years that she was very ill.

    My sister has now indicated that she is going to contest the will as she believes that the will is grossly unfair and that she should also have a claim in my mother's share of the property.

    My current financial situation is very poor, I have serious health issues and now find myself with the possibility of having to apply for the Disability Support Pension. I am now very concerned that I may have to sell the property to pay any funds to my sister should she be successful with any claim and I would be left with nothing once legal costs have been accounted for.

    I have been financially restricted by caring for my mother over the past six years considering I would have been earning $50,000 per year along with Super contributions had I not had to leave my employment.

    I am very stressed with the situation, I can not sleep constantly thinking of the nightmare ahead with having to go to court to defend the matter, along with grieving the death of my mother, we were very very close.

    What upsets me the most is that my mother's wishes are being contested and the fact that a court can intervene and overrule her will. My sister has nothing to lose as she is living comfortably and no matter what the outcome will never struggle in the future.

    Are there any professionals on this site that specialise in defending estate able to give me any help on this situation?

    Regards
     
  2. winston wolf

    winston wolf Well-Known Member

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    Hi Krisy64

    I am not a professional but have an lay interest it this area.

    From what you say your sister could claim, but I feel she would have very little chance of success.
    In order if importance.
    1. She is financially well of and you are not.
    2. Your additional finical contributions to you mothers wealth.
    3. Your additional non finical contributions to you mothers well being.
    Given that you have described she would run a real risk if having to pay the estate legal costs if her claim failed. The NSW Supreme court is trying to send a message at the moment that not less unsuccessful claims will have cost paid from the estate.

    Tip: Try and control cost. Question why you lawyer wants to do what and when. Check that they know this area, otherwise you may be paying them to learn.
     
  3. Kristy64

    Kristy64 Member

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    Hello Winston,

    Thank you for your swift reply,

    Your answer does give me some peace of mind, although I am aware and highly concerned that anything can happen with these cases if and once it goes to court.

    I'm shattered and devastated that I may have to go through all of this stress and emotion particularly whilst I am still in the grieving process. I will take your recommendation and will certainly attempt to ensure that I employ a specialist in defending estates against provision claims. Thank you again

    Regards
     

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