Publications - Estate planning

Case Update - Wilcox v Wilcox

In our July edition of Kellygraph, we wrote about the decision in Wilcox v Wilcox where a grandson sued his grandfather’s deceased estate with the effect of potentially depriving his mother from her inheritance in a dispute over the deceased’s farming property. The grandson was described to have a ‘highly developed and unhealthy sense of entitlement’. Not likely to win any son of the year award, and despite that description from the trial judge, the grandson was still awarded a ‘modest provision’ from his grandfather’s deceased estate on the basis that a wise testator might have made the same gift if they acknowledged the grandson’s circumstances.

The appeal of that decision was heard in October 2014 and was allowed, overruling the provision made to the grandson on the basis that the facts did not establish it was appropriate, based on prevailing community standards, to make any provision to the grandson. This decision in the appeal upholds the principle that there is no automatic right of entitlement of a grandchild to their grandparent’s estate (unless by substitution for their deceased parent) and corrects an anomaly in that legal principle.


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