A sad story this week.
My client’s father died a month ago.
My client understands that her father’s intention was that he would leave everything to his second wife, my client’s step-mother, including superannuation and the proceeds of a life insurance policy, but that the survivor would leave everything to his 3 children, 2 from marriage 1 and 1 from marriage 2.
However, my client says that the evil step-mother told my client and her brother, who are her both step-children, that:
- they are not beneficiaries under the Will, but she will not provide them with a copy;
- she is expecting $1 million to be paid into her bank account this week;
- she is planning a 3 month around the world trip;
- she will ensure that my client and her brother get nothing;
- she is selling the house, changing phone numbers and e-mail addresses so that she becomes uncontactable.
We are likely to be instructed to help obtain a copy of the Will, and the asset and liability statement for the Will, a certificate of title for the house to see if it was held as joint tenants, or tenants in common, or in his name, and make a Family provision claim, exhibiting the evil step-mother’s vitriolic text messages as part of the evidence.
The lesson – In the case of blended family situations in particular, wills should be worded to ensure that children by people’s first marriages are protected.
For help with Will and Will disputes, see Michael Paterson & Associates.