The recent decision in Baxter v Baxter [2014] VSC 377 dealt with a deceased who was survived by 3 adult sons, 3 grandchildren and 1 step grandchild. The deceased’s estate had an agreed value of $742,203.83. In his Will, the deceased left $50,000 to 1 of his adult sons, being the applicant. The deceased otherwise left all his money and entitlements in the Baxter Family Trust to his 3 grandchildren and 1 step grandchild in different proportions.

The Court found that:

  • the legacy of $50,000 to the applicant adult son was inadequate for his proper provision; and
  • the amount of provision to be allowed should be $350,000 inclusive of the legacy under the Will to allow for the legacy of $50,000, an amount of $200,000 for investment purposes, $50,000 for either renovations or home change and $50,000 for any contingencies relating to any deterioration in his health.

In making its decision, the Court had particular regard to:

  • the financial security of the other beneficiaries named in the Will (who were provided for under the Will of the deceased’s wife and under the Baxter Family Trust and the Baxter Family Property Trust);
  • the quantum of the deceased’s estate, which was reduced as a result of most of his wealth being transferred during his lifetime to the two trusts;
  • the fact that the applicant adult son was not a beneficiary to either of the two trusts;
  • the deterioration of the applicant’s financial position and health since the deceased’s date of death; and
  • the applicant’s lack of a financial buffer against future financial contingencies.

To find out how Armstrong Lawyers may assist you in relation to your Will Dispute or to Challenge a Will, feel free to browse our Wills and Estates page.