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NSW Mother is Executor of Will - Estranged Daughter Contesting a Will?

Discussion in 'Wills and Estate Planning Law Forum' started by The Stickman, 25 February 2016.

  1. The Stickman

    The Stickman Member

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    My mother is quite elderly and her sister has recently passed away.

    My mother looked after her sister for the past umpteen years, particularly over the past years when the sister had unfortunately suffered from cancer. The sister remained in her own house.

    The sister has only one surviving daughter but the daughter has been estranged for 15 years or so, after the daughter stole a large sum of money from my mother's sister. The daughter was tracked down and turned up at the funeral and also turned up at the clearing of the sister's house (taking a few items), but not assisting in any way. There has been no other contact other than a notification from a solicitor to say she was contesting the will.

    The sister's will leaves all monies to my mother (mum is the executor of will) other than $200,000 which goes to the daughter) she is in her very early 50s - about 20% of the estate - but the daughter has now contested the will.

    Although not contained in the will, the sister left a signed letter with the will saying that should the daughter contest the will, it should be contested at all costs using all funds available. She was also very, very vocal about this occurring prior to her death.

    To be frank, my mother would quite happily share the monies received but also feels a duty to act on the expressed desire of her departed sister, but my mother also does not need the stress of a court case!

    Any thoughts? What is the likelihood of the estranged daughter receiving increased funds if the matter does proceed to court.

    Any assistance would be gratefully received!

    Cheers
     
  2. The Stickman

    The Stickman Member

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    I would add that no one in my family has any idea of the daughter's financial situation as no one knows where she lives, etc!
     
  3. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi @The Stickman,

    Generally, where there is evidence that the will maker intended to limit the inheritance of a beneficiary and they have set out reasons for their decision and make that clear, then the court will respect their wishes. It will also depend on a range of other factors, so it's difficult to say whether she will be successful and if so to what extent.

    The only real alternative is to settle with the daughter and pay her more money to avoid litigation, but as you have pointed out that would be contrary to your aunt's wishes.
     
  4. winston wolf

    winston wolf Well-Known Member

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    One of the first parts of a claim like this is affidavits where you will find out the daughters financial position. These things are extremely stressful. If your mum doesn't want the stress and doesn’t need the money, she should settle sooner rather than later.

    This could easily take 2 years and cost $150,000.

    Her chance of success comes down to the daughter's financial position and the size of the estate.
     

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