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'A lifetime's labour for nothing': Can I be left out of the will after spending my lifetime working on a farm?


 Pic: Stock image

Pic: Stock image

Pic: Stock image

One of the more common cases where I am retained as an expert witness is where a person has devoted a significant part of their life towards helping out and looking after another person’s welfare and farming interests for minimal reward — apart from the expectation of eventually inheriting part or all the farm.

Such expectation is usually fuelled by comments or even promises made by the deceased. Alleged statements such as ‘this will all be yours when I'm gone’ would be fairly typical in such circumstances.

Unfortunately, in many of the cases I’ve been involved with, the deceased left no will, or none could be found. Alter­natively they may have made a will many year’s previously when their circumstances were entirely different and may never have never updated the will.

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