The High Court has denied a claim from a man who sought to gain possession of his deceased sister’s house. The man claimed that the house was not being used for the purpose that was set out in his deceased sister’s Will.

The deceased woman left the house to the Catholic Church for exclusive use for their canons. She also stated in the Will that if the Church had no use for the house that it be given to her brother.

After receiving the house, the Church attempted to use the house to provide accommodation for one of its priests. When none of their priests accepted the offer, the house was rented out to a young family. The rent money was used by the Church to fund housing for retired priests.

The man brought the claim because he believed that renting the house out to a family did not fall within his sisters wishes, specifically that the Church have “exclusive use” of the house.

The Court rejected this argument, as the sister’s objective was to reserve the exclusive benefit of the house for the Church. The Court decided that renting the house to a family was fulfilling this objective through the rental income that the Church received.

The Court dismissed the man’s claim.

When contesting a Will, it is crucial to understand the deceased’s wishes and what the likely outcome of challenging them will be, as failing to do so can be an expensive and time consuming process. If there is confusion regarding the signing or carrying out of a Will, 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.

Shaun Cousins