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Retirement

Does a child have rights to an estate if they mistreated the parent?

  • October 22 2020
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Retirement

Does a child have rights to an estate if they mistreated the parent?

By Cameron Micallef
October 22 2020

A NSW court has ruled whether a child who has mistreated a parent throughout their lives should receive a share in their estate.

Does a child have rights to an estate if they mistreated the parent?

Does a child have rights to an estate if they mistreated the parent?

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  • October 22 2020
  • Share

A NSW court has ruled whether a child who has mistreated a parent throughout their lives should receive a share in their estate.

Does a child have rights to an estate if they mistreated the parent?

Nerez Grant sued her mother’s estate because her mother’s will did not provide “adequate provision for  proper maintenance, education or advancement in life”.

The NSW Supreme Court confirmed that the decision as to whether to make a family provision order in favour of the daughter, Ms Grant, would be a two-stage process – first, you decide if what she has received is adequate, and if not, then, second, you work out what would be.

However, key witnesses said Ms Grant was not a loving child despite telling the court she was, with her brother stating otherwise.

According to Townsends Business & Corporate Lawyers principal Peter Townsend, the NSW Succession Act gives the court the power to determine what is adequate, including the power to refuse to make any order even though the applicant has shown the will to be inadequate. That is particularly so where there is evidence of mistreatment of the deceased by the child applying for more of the estate.

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“The court should accept that the deceased… is entitled to make no provision for a child, particularly in the case of one who treats their parents callously, by withholding, without proper justification, their support and love from them in their declining years. Even more so where that callousness is compounded by hostility,” Mr Townsend said. 

Ms Grant failed in her claim for provision out of her mother’s estate. The court held that her ill treatment of her parents, particularly her mother, over a long period disentitled her to any further relief by way of family provision.

“Mrs Grant was afraid of her daughter Nerez Grant with good reason. Nerez behaved with callous brutality towards both of her parents over decades… Nerez treated her mother as a creature to be frightened and then coerced into doing what she wanted. Any vestiges of mother-daughter affection had long disappeared between Nerez and Mrs Grant. 

“Stung by the constant pain of Nerez’s drug taking, thefts, aggression, unpredictability and the shame she brought upon the family, Mrs Grant’s decision to keep her daughter at arm’s length was entirely understandable,” Mr Townsend concluded. 

Does a child have rights to an estate if they mistreated the parent?
Does a child have rights to an estate if they mistreated the parent?
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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