Could Bob Hawke have avoided his daughter contesting his Will?

Two months after the death of former Prime Minister Bob Hawke, there are now reports that his daughter may be preparing to take legal action against his second wife. Bob’s first marriage was to Hazel Hawke in which he had three children with her. Bob and Hazel divorced and he then married his on/off lover Blanche D’Alpuget in 1995, with whom he had no children. Bob and Hazel remained close until Hazel’s passing in 2013, despite Bob’s indiscretions. The relationship between Bob’s children and Blanche however, is reportedly strained as Blanche was not invited to the funeral of Hazel.

Bob executed a private agreement, separate to his Will, in which each of his children would receive a $750,000 payment from Blanche upon his passing. The rest of his estate was left to Blanche, which included the proceeds of the sale of his $15 million home in Sydney’s northern suburbs. However, one of Bob’s daughters Ros is reportedly now considering contesting Bob’s Will, as she is not satisfied with her inheritance, seeking advice from a specialist family law firm. In New South Wales (and other states), there are laws set strict time limits on when a claim can be brought against an estate and also who is eligible to make such a claim.

Should Ros proceed with contesting the Will, Bob’s personal life may now be played out in the legal system and the public domain. This only highlights the need for a considered and well thought out estate plan to ensure that the risk of a dispute is minimised.

In the age of the modern family, we see issues in blended families that become heightened when a loved one dies. Instances such as step-children not getting along with the surviving step-parent like the aforementioned case are all too common. Sitting down with a specialist to effectively plan out your estate may minimise the risk of a dispute and infighting amongst your loved ones once you have passed.

Morrows Legal assists clients with developing a carefully thought out and well-planned estate plan, even in the trickiest of situations. To learn more about what we can do for you, contact the Morrows Legal team to make an appointment.

 

Contact our Legal specialists: 

Rabia Javed-May

Director of Legal

Email: rjaved-may@morrows.com.au

 

Laura Harding

Associate

Email: lharding@morrows.com.au

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