Will uneven legacy cause issues?

Eddy has two adult children. One has done well in life and is comfortable while the other is struggling. He asks estate planning lawyer Rod Cunich about the possible ramifications if he leaves more in his will to the ‘struggler’.


Q. Eddy*
I have two adult children. One has had a lifetime where everything has fallen into place and the other has battled to keep her head above water all her life. My question is, can I legally leave a greater portion of my assets to the one who has struggled and is in need – and, if so, up to what division percentage could I allocate in the will without (maybe) a challenge being made to the will after I pass?

A. You can leave your estate to whoever you wish. That said, if you do favour one over the other, the less favoured may challenge the will on the basis that you made inadequate provision for them. There is no ‘magic’ percentage or recipe to avoid a challenge. The best thing you can do is to chat to the one who has done well and tell them what you plan to do and see what the reaction is. If that child can live with your decision, it is unlikely there will be any trouble.

*Not his real name

Rod Cunich is a lawyer with more than 30 years’ experience in estate planning. If you have a question for Rod, email it to newsletters@yourlifechoices.com.au.

These answers are general information only, not specific legal advice. You should not rely on these answers without specific advice from an expert who can review all the relevant documents and circumstances.

Related articles:
Where there’s a will there’s Rod
Can I share legacy with siblings?
Will father’s death affect legacy?

Disclaimer: This information has been provided by Rod Cunich and should be considered general in nature. Seek legal advice before acting on this information.

Written by YourLifeChoices Writers

YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.

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