Few family provision cases are appealed to the High Court. Those that are appealed to the highest court reflect either the importance of the issues or the persistence of the parties. Vigilo v Bostin is no exception. The case is a gem, crystalising the usual issues in the often bitter struggle for land among rural families. In this case, the appellant son had left school and worked on the farm with his father for some years with the promise from his father that he would one day inherit the farm. After the son fell out with his father they came to a settlement where the son was well provided for. The significance of the case lies in the question of how the court should assess the moral promise of the father to give the estate to the son, when the son has been well provided for out of the settlement. The case highlights the expectations of able bodied adult males, who have been amply rewarded, and their moral claim for further provision. In this context I will consider the relevance of testamentary promises.
|Number of pages
|Retirement and Estate Planning Bulletin
|Published - 2005