In a case involving an estate challenge, the High Court has ordered $430,000 to be given to the daughter of a man who did not provide for her in his Will. This was taken out of the deceased’s estate as compensation for a breach of his moral duty to the daughter.

The claim was brought by the biological daughter of the deceased, who had been left nothing in the Will. Throughout the daughter’s life, she had limited contact with her father who was in another relationship and didn’t want to jeopardise his marriage by visiting his daughter.

Because of the lack of parental support the daughter was in and out of care homes throughout her childhood. She struggled to make a living, or to find a stable home, and had suffered financial hardship since she was a youth.

The Court decided that the lack of acknowledgement of the daughter in the Will was a significant breach of the moral duty owed to her by her father, where the father knew of her psychological and financial struggles, and had made no attempt to support her. The Court awarded the daughter 70% of the estate to remedy the breach.

If the father had provided adequately for his daughter in his Will, this claim could have been avoided, and the time and cost of litigation could have been saved.

When estate planning, it is wise to seek advice from a professional with experience in the area.

 

Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-price Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.

Nicky Wise