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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 23054
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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My sister has not had anything to do with dad past 25 years

Customer Question

Hi my sister has not had anything to do with dad for the past 25 years (her choice not his) and has shunned my brother and I for several years now also. Our dad is dying and she has now come to my brother and I and told us if dad does not leave her a third share she will contest the will.
My brother and I appreciate the cost to do this and have advised dad to leave her a nominal amount to avoid any legal action. That being said, what is the cost to my brother and I to defend this action? And can it be remedied quickly without too much cost should we be able to prove there has not been a relationship between her and dad for 25 years?
I am aware that this sort of thing happens in a high % of cases and we do not want to be embroiled in legal issues at a huge cost. Please advise kind regards Jan
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.
The Family Protection Act does permit claims where the claimant can show a moral duty to provide for her. In this case, where she has chosen to have no contact, the question is whether her personal circumstances mean she should claim. If she is wealthy in her own right, or even just comfortably off, with for example a reasonable job, house and assets, then a nominal amount of say 5 to 10% of the estate would satisfy that test. It's hard to stop someone making a claim, but if she did with a background of no contact, and got this sort of amount, she may end up with no more by court action.