How can I get more than my siblings from our parent’s estate?
Can I inherit a larger share of my parent’s Estate? I have given up my job to look after them, whereas my siblings are still living in their own homes and have full-time jobs.
Caring for elderly parents can be a full time and demanding position and one that is becoming more common as Australia’s population ages.
In addition, caring for elderly parents can often have a detrimental impact on a person’s ability to contribute to their own financial security as it will impact their ability to work.
From your question, it appears that this is the case. In these circumstances, the first suggestion would be to hold a family conference with your parents and your siblings. The purpose of this family conference would be to discuss your parent’s wishes in relation to their Estate. It may be that your parents have already considered your contribution to their welfare and have Wills which reflect this contribution. By having a discussion about this with all potential beneficiaries of your parent’s Estate it can mean that there are no arguments about the way your parents wish to distribute their Estate after they are gone.
If such a discussion is not possible then you would need to consider whether to make a Family Provision application after your parents are gone. A Family Provision Claim is a claim against a deceased Estate by an eligible person on the grounds that adequate provision was not made for your education, maintenance and advancement in life.
One of many factors that the Court will consider when making a Family Provision Order is whether the person making the family provision claim is any contribution made by the applicant (financial or otherwise) to the welfare of the deceased for which adequate consideration was not received by that person. It is clear that you are contributing to the welfare of both your parents by being their full-time carer and this is a factor that will be taken into account by the Court when deciding whether you are entitled to a larger share of your parent’s Estate.
Graeme Heckenberg is an expert Wills & Estates lawyer and guides and advises clients on a wide range of Wills and Estate matters including Family Provision Claims, Wills, Powers of Attorney and Guardianship documents. If you are living on the Northern Beaches and surrounding Peninsula and need expert advice call The Northern Beaches Lawyer today for an appointment close to home.