“You can’t tell me who to love and who not to love.”
Steven Allsop turned his back on a $8 million inheritance to marry his wife. Thirty years later, he doesn’t regret his decision, even though it led to years of alienation from his father and being cut out of the will.
“It was never about the money. It was the principle,” he says.
His father, Charles Allsop, made a fortune in an oil and water filtration system business died in 2012. He died in Thailand in 2012 and left the bulk of his multi-million dollar fortune to his second wife and their son, Richard. Richard was named as one of the executors and was accused of understating the estate’s assets value by as much as $10 million.
Queensland Supreme Court Justice Ros Atkinson increased Steven’s share of the inheritance to $1 million, saying in her judgement that while Charles had claimed in his will that Steven had rejected any parental relationship with him, Charles had caused Steven “emotional suffering throughout his life’’. Justice Atkinson said Steven, who has a poorly paid bowling alley mechanic job, and his family were in very poor financial circumstances, while his second wife and son, Richard, were well provided for.
Can you cut your kids out of your will?
The short answer is that you can try, but children have the right to contest the will if they feel unfairly treated. In Queensland, the law obliges you to make adequate provision in your will for:
- Your spouse
- Your children
- Your step-children
- Other dependants (in limited circumstances)
If you fail to do so, they may contest the will in court and your wishes may be overturned by a judge. There are other reasons for contesting a will. The grounds for challenging a will include:
- Being left out of a will altogether or being left less than is fair
- Assets have disappeared from the estate
- The will doesn’t make sense or is unclear
- The person who made the will has fallen under the influence of someone
- The person has lost the mental capacity to make a will
You cannot contest a will without legal representation, and it’s important you obtain expert advice. It is a complex area of the law. For peace of mind, contact our Accredited Specialist for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation today.