What To Do When Gran Leaves It All To The Cat Society
As a Law Society Accredited Specialist in Wills and Estates, Joshua Crowther from Stacks Law Firm thought he’d heard it all when it comes to the strange things relatives can do to each other when it comes to money.
But he’d never seen anything like this weird case from Austria. An 85 year old gran was determined to spite her heirs and stop them getting her money. She got her million euro fortune – that’s $1.5 million Australian – from the bank in cash and spread it out over her bed in the nursing home.
Armed with a pair of scissors her last living act was to cut all the notes to shreds. Her nurse found her dead, a vengeful smile on her face and shredded euros covering the bed.
But the aggrieved relatives got busy with sticky tape and managed to stitch much of the notes together. They took the repaired notes to the bank which replaced them with new notes.
“Gran should have burned the notes, or better still, given it all away before she died,” said Mr Crowther. However, even if she had given it all to the cat society or her nurse, it wouldn’t necessarily have worked in NSW.
“In NSW there are notional estate provisions allowing notional estate, that is the money transferred to the cat society, to be called back within 3 years if proved to be done with the intention of disinheriting somebody who has an eligible claim on an estate.
“In NSW grandchildren can’t claim unless they can prove they were also dependent upon gran, and that can be difficult to do.
“Generally, the claims of grandchildren are not good – although each case is different. However a child has an automatic claim on a parent’s estate and therefore a child would have strong prospects of success if mother gave it all to the cat society.
A court will take into account the size of the estate and the relationship with the parent. If the relationship wasn’t good then the court can consider whether it was the parent or child that created the estrangement, and the claims of other beneficiaries.
As with many areas of law, it can be complex and every case is different. If you are looking to foolproof your will or make a claim on an unfair will, it’s always best to get specialist legal advice.