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Case Review: High Income Earner Cut Out By Father

The deceased was a  middle-aged man who died leaving everything to his brother, and nothing to his only child; his son.

The enquiry was made within the time limit.  The estate was of moderate value, $500,000.

The inquirer had enjoyed  a good relationship with the father, but clearly his uncle had influenced the father to cut him out of the Will. The inquirer acknowledged that there had been some loss of contact, but it was not all that prolonged.

Due to the relationship and the fact that he is the only child, it would seem that the father had an obligation to provide for his son.

To contest the Will, a key issue for the son was  proving financial need because he and his wife earn almost $150,000 a year, and both work fulltime in professional jobs.

They own a house in a capital city worth $700,000 and have a mortgage of $350,000, giving them an equity of $350,000.

They are paying off their mortgage at a high interest rate, because they only have ten years in which to reduce the debt prior to retiring.

They have 2 young daughters and they need to pay for their full-time university education, and  find that they do not have a lot of surplus funds.

If there were other children who were less well off, the son may have difficulty in making a claim but as he is an only child, he should still be able to show financial need, because there are no real competing beneficiaries, except for the uncle.