The deliberate exclusion of a child from a will happens surprisingly often.
In one particular example, a daughter was intentionally left out of her mother’s will. Despite the daughter’s claims that she had a close relationship with her mother, the mother would occasionally say nasty things to her. On a particular occasion, the daughter called her mother to arrange plans for Father’s Day, which was usually a fun occasion for the family. However, the reception she received was quite hostile and her mother abruptly stated that she was going to see her lawyer that afternoon to sign her will. She told her daughter that she would not be receiving anything under her new will and that her sister and the family will be looked after.
Being rejected in this manner can be hurtful and confusing, however there are legal options available should you find yourself in this position.
A child of a deceased is considered to be an eligible person to make a family provision application (i.e. contest a will). In this respect, an application will need to filed with the Supreme Court within 12 months from the date of death of the deceased on the basis that you require additional provision for the purpose of maintenance, education and advancement in life.
The Court will consider this in addition to other factors including your financial circumstances. If the Court finds that you are entitled to a share of the deceased’s estate, orders will be made by the Court altering the terms of the will.
Furthermore, you may enter into negotiations with the executor of the estate and if the executor and beneficiaries agree that you are entitled to a share of the estate, the parties can enter into a Deed of Family Arrangement altering the terms of the will to reflect provision to you without resorting to litigation. The latter is obviously a more cost efficient way to deal with the situation and should be pursued before commencing any proceedings by way of a family provision application.
If you or someone you know has experienced deliberate exclusion from a will, our team can assist you by providing expert advice and legal support regarding your options. Contact us today.