NSW Trusts and Step Child

Discussion in 'Wills and Estate Planning Law Forum' started by snoop, 31 December 2018.

  1. snoop

    snoop Well-Known Member

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    Hi all

    I have been advised by my Solicitor to leave something to a step child whom I and my kids have absolute minimal contact with. I have been advised that while "legally" he has no entitlement to my estate, he can still try to challenge things to obtain a cut. He did receive an inheritance when his Father passed away a few years ago, it amounted to 20% of the total estate which included the family home ( a little under $200,000 at the time). I have a set figure of 220,000 in my will for them. I am wondering whether I am able to drop this to 100,000, and then 50,000 in a couple of years without risking the will being challenged. My main objective is to avoid the legal fees associated with such an activity. My kids are under 18, and I have a terminal illness so I have included the setup of a Trust as part of my will so that the kids are protected. In the coming months I will be coming into an inheritance. The figure will not be huge, but it will be enough for a deposit for an Investment Property.... can I setup the Trust now and purchase the property under the Trust? Am I also able to move share stocks I have into the Trust? I am wanting to minimise the amount in my estate as I know the Step Child will request copies of probate and copies of the total estate to see if they are able to obtain more. I know I may sound mean, but recent events - and their actions when their father passed - have highlighted the fact that where money is concerned people are not nice but greedy, and the only contact seems to be checking to see if I am still alive - and no contact with my kids.
     
  2. Scruff

    Scruff Well-Known Member

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    Your life - your assets - your will - your decision. I hope that statement is self explanatory in regard to the first part of your question.

    In regard to your other concerns, I'll leave that to the experts.
     
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  3. winston wolf

    winston wolf Well-Known Member

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    Hi Snoop

    The first question is what state you are in? NSW?
    If the step child could successfully bring a Family Provision claim against your estate is very difficult to tell even after you passing and more so in advance.
    It's very much up to the whim of the judge. It will depend on the size of the estate, the childs need and you relationship to the child(how long etc) and competing interests of others with a claim against the estate.
    Without knowing the size of the estate of the financial position of the step child $220 sound like a generous offer. From what I see most estates under 3million will spend about 20% of the estate if it goes to court in NSW.
    I'm not sure why the reducing benefit over time? Are you assuming the longer the separation the lesser the duty?
    If there is a trust that you have created the executors to the best of my knowledge will be bound to disclose this to the plaintiff.
    In NSW this will likely be seen as notional estate and up for redistribution. If not in NSW it can still be taken into account.

    To the best of my knowledge the would have to be completely out of your control to be outside the estate (for 3 years in NSW)
     
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