Wills Case Study No. 2

Transferred his House

The testator transferred his house to his daughter who with her husband moved in to look after the testator 24/7 for the last four years of his life. Both his daughter and her husband were working at the time in areas considerably distant from the testator’s residence so that involved great inconvenience in addition to the stress of looking after a quite ill elderly person. The testator transferred his property despite his daughter’s insistence not to do so to her.

There were two other children of the testator, one of whom had not been seen or heard of for over 40 years and one of whom the testator specifically did not want to have any interest in the house but did leave him a half share of the remaining assets. Despite this being the clear intention of the testator to transfer the property and having received legal advice about the ramifications, the two other siblings still commenced action for a share of the estate and were eventually awarded monies and an order for costs which resulted in the daughter having to sell the property or obtain finance to settle those claims. The way these cases are progressing with judges seemingly wanting to make sure everybody gets a share of the estate and their costs means that there should be great care taken in positively directing testator to:

  1. make some provision for all siblings; and
  2. to notify the siblings of those decisions before the testator passes away.