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NSW Step Grandmother Leaves Half Estate To My Deceased Mother

Discussion in 'Wills and Estate Planning Law Forum' started by Cathy88, 19 September 2014.

  1. Cathy88

    Cathy88 Member

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    My Grandfather passed many long years ago and left all of his estate to his wife which was his second marriage (1st wife died) . My Grandfather had only 2 children - [Y] and [L]. My Step Grandmother had no children. When my Step Grandmother passed Oct 13 she had a will which left approx half the estate to both Y and L who are the only children of her husband - very specific will only leaving the husband and wife of Y and L a sum of $50,000 each. There was no other people named in the will.

    She never talked about her family and told us there was no one. Unfortunately, my mother (Y) passed approx. 4 yrs earlier than my Step Grandmother - she did not change her will. She had my mother (Y) as her executor of will as well. She was very tight with her money and didn't want to go and pay the solicitor more money to change her will after my mother passed because she believed that because she left instructions to go to Y - it was just automatically pass to the person that Y had left her estate to which was her husband -[M] who was left the sum of $50,000 in the will.

    We have been told that it is very clear that if we are not BLOOD RELATIVES and therefore the half of the will is invalid because my mother is not here to take the inheritance. So it now automatically goes to the BLOOD RELATIVES who exist on our Step Grandmothers side of her family. The Public Trustee NSW have found her nieces and nephews and they will receive all of the half inheritance that my mother should have received.

    My Questions are: The will is clear that only the two children (Y and L) and their spouses are named in the will to get all the inheritance. Is this not deemed 'Will-makers intentions" and a court of law can over rule that the Blood Relatives on the Step Grandmother's side - who had nothing to do with her - receive my Grandfather's estate and not his BLOOD GRANDCHILDREN. I can't believe that this can happen - especially in today's society where there is a lot of second marriages and step parents. If you could help me find a way to right this injustice.

    Thank you
     
  2. winston wolf

    winston wolf Well-Known Member

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    Hi Cathy88

    In brief you step grandmother left half her estate in NSW, of which a large portion came from you grandfather to your mother.
    Your mother predeceased your step grandmother but the will made no provision for this by saying what should happen on this case(bad will).
    Therefore you mothers share became the residue(unallocated) part of the estate.
    The trustee wants to distribute the residue(you mothers share) using the laws if intestacy. This law does not provide for step children/grand children and therefore you get nothing.

    A lot depends on the EXACT wording of the will.

    Does the will mention anything about the residue of the estate?

    You could contest the will through a family provision claim but this would only be worthwhile if the estate is worth enough.
    As a family provision claim can cost between $40k-$200k this could disadvantage (L) greatly.
     
  3. Cathy88

    Cathy88 Member

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  4. Cathy88

    Cathy88 Member

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    Hi Winston
    Thank you for your reply. The will was prepared by a solicitor and unfortunately it wasn't completed with the correct wording to say if Y was deceased then her partner M would receive the allocated estate. It was completed correctly on the other side L - his partner was allocated if L was deceased.
    Unfortunately I am 1 of 8 grandchildren - we are all just average workers with average money and assets. We cannot risk losing what little we have to try and get our Grandfathers estate. We know that we cannot contest the will - The estate could only pass to my Step Father who is mentioned in the will - which we would all be very happy with - it would at least be passed down the correct family line eventually. I suppose it takes money to make money - we had approached a solicitor who told us it was going to cost us $350 per hour just to find out if we could pursue this case. We don't have that sort of money. If we lost the case and we were charged up to maybe $200,000 - I would have to sell everything I have. The estate is quite large - we think over half million.
    Thanks again
     
  5. winston wolf

    winston wolf Well-Known Member

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    What is [L]'s attitude to the situation?
    Can you confirm all 8 are "blood grandchildren"?
     
  6. Cathy88

    Cathy88 Member

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    Hi
    All 8 Grand children are blood related to Grandfather - children of Y. Only 2 grand children on L side (L has recently passed). The 2 are happy for us to do what it takes to rectify our side - but we are not wanting to jeopardize any of the L inheritance - their side is not invalid.
    I believe there to be only two options: 1. Fight the case against incorrect format used of the Will - not sure if we would have much hope against a Solicitor? Or go for an extremely risky claim which could bankrupt me and/or ruin the inheritance of my L side of family - which I wouldn't want to do - it is also a large inheritance on that side as well.
     
  7. winston wolf

    winston wolf Well-Known Member

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    Theirs nothing you can do about the fact that the will was poorly written.
    If every body cooperates, including the public trustee and all the beneficiaries the will could be challenged using the family provision Act. If you keep the lawyers on a short leash I could see an outcome where the legal are less than $30k-50k and this comes from Y's side.

    Lets see if others have any ideas?
     

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