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Commence a contested will claim: Importance of financial need: It’s the law

Two brothers expected to inherit when their father died, and the Will provided for a 50/50

split of all estate assets. However the eldest brother claims that he has spent many years

looking after the parents, has lost superannuation, lost promotion and lost 15 years of

opportunities living with the parents, looking after both of them until they died. The eldest

brother feels that he should be getting more than 50%. The value of the property that he will

inherit is in excess of $2m and the younger brother gets the other $2m. The eldest brother

also owns his own home.

Comments by Wills & Estate Specialist – Terry Johansson

Whilst it seems most unfair that the brother who contributed so little to the family welfare

gets an equal share, the basis of claims to contest a Will is financial: in this case the brother

who gave so much to the parents would probably be unsuccessful in claiming any more than

half, because it will be difficult for him to prove financial need. He may have other grounds

to make a claim, such as money owed by the parents, and in fact if he has contributed to the

maintenance, welfare and upkeep of any of the properties, he may claim an equity which

gives him some prior ownership rights.