What Happens When a Parent Leaves Everything to One Child in Australia?

Walker Pender Lawyers
Based on 73 reviews
powered by Google
When a Parent Leaves Everything to One Child | Walker Pender

When a parent leaves everything to one child in Australia, several legal and familial outcomes can occur:

  1. Execution of the Will: The will must go through a legal process known as probate, where the court validates it before the assets are distributed.
  2. Family Provision Claims: Other children or dependents who have been left out of the will may have the right to contest the will under family provision laws. They can make a claim for a share of the estate if they can prove they were dependent on the deceased and have been left without adequate provision.
  3. Potential for Dispute: Such decisions can lead to disputes among siblings and other potential heirs, which might require mediation or court intervention.
  4. Legal Challenges: A will can be challenged on several grounds, including the testator’s mental capacity, undue influence, or if the will was not correctly executed.
  5. Tax Implications: The child who inherits everything may face tax implications, such as capital gains tax if they decide to sell any inherited property that was not their primary residence.
  6. Moral Duty Consideration: Australian courts may consider the parent’s moral duty to provide for all children, but this consideration must be balanced against the testamentary freedom of the individual.

Also read: Do You Need Probate To Sell A House in Australia

Is It Legal for a Parent to Leave No Inheritance to Other Children?

Yes, it is generally legal for a parent in Australia to leave their entire estate to one child or even to disinherit one or more of their children entirely. This is because Australian law gives parents a broad right to dispose of their assets as they see fit, including the right to disinherit their children.

However, there are a few exceptions to this general rule. For example, suppose a parent has a child with a disability or a child who is financially dependent on them. In that case, the court may be able to order that the child receive a share of the parent’s estate even if they have been disinherited in the will. Additionally, suppose a parent has been estranged from a child for a long period of time. In that case, the court may be able to overturn the disinheritance if it believes that the parent’s decision was unreasonable.

In general, however, parents in Australia have a great deal of freedom to decide how they want to distribute their assets after death. This can lead to situations where one child inherits everything while the others inherit nothing. Suppose you are a parent who is considering disinheriting one or more of your children. In that case, it is important to speak to an attorney to ensure you know your rights and obligations under Australian law.

What Are My Rights If I Receive No Inheritance from My Parents?

You can challenge a will if you believe you have been unfairly disinherited. This is known as a family provision claim. The Succession Act 1981 outlines the circumstances in which you can make a family provision claim.

Can a Sibling Legally Challenge My Inheritance in Australia?

Yes, a sibling in Australia can legally challenge your inheritance if they believe it is unfair or unjust. This is called a family provision claim and is governed by the Succession Act 1981.

To make a successful family provision claim, the sibling would need to prove that:

  • They were a close relative of the deceased (i.e., a child, stepchild, spouse, de facto partner, or grandchild)
  • They had a strong relationship with the deceased
  • They were financially dependent on the deceased
  • The deceased’s will did not provide them with adequate financial support
  • The deceased’s decision to disinherit them was unreasonable or unjust

The court would then consider several factors when deciding whether to award the sibling a portion of the inheritance. These factors include the size of the estate, the severity of the sibling’s financial hardship, and the strength of their relationship with the deceased.

If the court does award the sibling a portion of the inheritance, the amount awarded could be significant. In some cases, the sibling could receive a share of the estate that is equal to or even greater than the share received by the other beneficiaries.

Therefore, knowing the potential for family provision claims is important when drafting a will. If you are concerned about a potential challenge from a sibling, you should speak to an attorney to discuss your options.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind about family provision claims in Queensland:

  • Notice must be made within six months of the date of death.
  • The court has wide discretion in awarding a family provision.
  • The claim can be expensive to pursue.

Also read: When is Probate Required in Australia? A Comprehensive Overview

If you are considering making a family provision claim, seeking legal advice from an experienced will lawyer is important. A solicitor can help you understand your rights and options and ensure your claim is filed correctly and on time.

Challenging a Will at Walker Pender

A client came to us at Walker Pender for legal assistance contesting her late father’s will. At 89 years old, her father had passed away, leaving his entire estate to her sibling. Our client suspected undue influence, as her sibling resided with their father during his final years and may have exploited their proximity.

Upon thorough investigation, we at Walker Pender found substantial evidence supporting our client’s concerns. It was revealed that at the time the will was executed, her father suffered from dementia, which frequently impaired his cognitive abilities. This condition often caused him to forget the existence of our client, his other child.

Such circumstances cast significant doubt on the will’s validity, as it was likely created under conditions where the father was not of sound mind. This finding opened the pathway for our client to legally challenge the will to ensure a fair distribution of her father’s estate.

When a Parent Leaves Everything to One Child

Feeling sidelined in a will? Walker Pender is your ally in seeking fairness. If you suspect undue influence or capacity issues played a part in a parent’s will, you deserve a voice. Contact us to explore your rights and challenge the will. Let’s ensure the legacy is shared justly.

    Do You Have a Case?

    Get your free case review within 24 hours. All Fields Required.

    Scroll to Top