The recent decision of Salloum v Assouni [2013] VSC 591 concerned a Part IV application by an adult daughter of the deceased. The deceased was survived by nine of his ten children aged from 41 to 58 yers old. The deceased’s Will left:

  • some personal items to various children; and
  • the residue of his estate, valued at $650,000.00 (being the deceased’s residential property), to one of his son and one his daughter in equal shares.

The Will also set out the deceased’s reasons for leaving the residue of his estate to those two children only. In particular, the Will stated that:

“if any one of my residuary beneficiaries does own a house or share of a house at my death whether in her own name or as deemed under family law or other legislation such as under an implied trust, without binding that beneficiary to do so, I express my wish to that beneficiary that she adopts the attitude that she holds her share as a residuary beneficiary herein on behalf of all my other children (excluding the other beneficiary) and therefore shares that share with those other children equally.”

The Court took account of:

  • the due consideration and wishes demonstrated in the deceased’s Will;
  • the ongoing assistance of the applicant’s son towards his own family and his generosity towards the applicant in providing her with long term and affordable accommodation;
  • the applicant’s current financial situation and considered that renting is the more affordable option for her as the Court was not satisfied that the applicant could manage the financial burdens of owning a house;
  • the applicant’s lack of ability to acquire any significant future savings; and
  • the size of the estate.

Having considered the above factors, the Court ordered that further provision be made for the applicant daughter from the estate by the payment of a pecuniary legacy of $45,000 as a nest egg for the future.

To find out how Armstrong Lawyers may assist you in relation to Estate Planning or Will Disputes, feel free to browse our Wills and Estates page.