Estrangement – Can Estranged Adult Children Challenge a Parent's Estate?


Does estrangement preclude an estate challenge by Adult Children?

Many potential claimants are concerned that a period of estrangement may preclude an adult child from challenging a parent’s estate.

It should be noted that estrangement in and of itself is not determinative in extinguishing the moral obligation of a testator to provide for a child.

There have been a number of cases which seek to clarify the issue of estrangement in the context of Part IV Claims

Pursuant to the New South Wales case of Wentworth it clear that the causes of estrangement need to be examined. Was the breakdown of the relationship a result of unreasonable conduct on the part of the parent or child?

The case of Penn v Richards restricts the Court’s assignment of moral blame for the breakdown of the relationship – ‘the estrangement does not need to be examined in terms of moral fault’. It is however important to note that where there is one-sided hostility responsibility may be assigned.

It is important that if you are considering challenging an estate you obtain accurate legal advice by contacting Estate Lawyers Melbourne on 03 9935 5228.

Author Estate Lawyers

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