In Scarlett v Scarlett [2012] VSC 515 the Plaintiff was the deceased’s granddaughter. In her last Will, the deceased left her home to her surviving son (the Executor) and her residual personal estate to 5 grandchildren, which excluded the Plaintiff.

In delivering his judgment, Vickery J affirmed the principle that there is no moral obligation on a testator to provide for a grandchild unless special factors exist.

In this case, it was determined that the deceased had a moral obligation to provide for the Plaintiff because:

  • the Plaintiff’s father had predeceased the deceased and could not support the Plaintiff;
  • the Plaintiff’s father had made substantial contributions to the building up of the deceased’s husband’s estate;
  • the Plaintiff’s father did not inherit anything from the deceased’s father’s estate; and
  • the fact that the Defendant had inherited most of the deceased’s husband’s estate lessened the moral obligation of the deceased to gift most of her estate to the Defendant.

Accordingly, Vickery J made provision in the sum of $67,000 plus costs for the Plaintiff to be paid from the Defendant’s share of the estate.

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