Its come to this: you can’t even give your money away to Â those you favor.
A man who instructed the funds of his estate be donated only to non-Muslims may have his wishes overturned by the Queensland Supreme Court.
Abraham Werner, who died in Brisbane in 1989, has had his will deemed discriminatory in several states.
The estate executor, Perpetual Trust, has sought a court order to allow them to distribute the funds outside of his strict conditions.
Mr Werner’s will bequeathed almost $700,000 with conditions the executor “first consider destitute male orphans of Asian parentage without any known relatives”.
Further conditions were that his money not go to followers or devotees of Islam, those not in “good health and mentally alert of good intellect and of good behaviour” or to anyone older than 21.
He also wished his funds not to go anyone involved in “using or marketing any form or drug of addiction” and that beneficiaries “must speak English adequately or undertake to learn to speak English within two years”.
Mr Werner, who was originally from Holland, had never married nor had children.
He donated his body to science.
In documents filed last month in the Supreme Court in Brisbane, Perpetual Trust says between 1991 and 2001 it managed to grant funds to charities which fell within Mr Werner’s conditions.
But in 2002 lawyers advised the organisation the criteria they put forward on Mr Werner’s behalf could be unlawfully discriminatory in three Australian states and the ACT.
Lawyers considered theÂ exclusion of “followers of Islam” was unlawful in Tasmania, Western Australia, the ACT and possibly unlawful in New South Wales.
Andrew Thomas, of Perpetual Trust, wrote in an affidavit the organisation “had difficulty identifying potential benefits because it could not advertise for applications given the discriminatory nature of criteria to be applied”.
“Charities that assist disadvantaged children could not provide any assistance to Perpetual Trust as they either could not distinguish between individuals on criteria such as those set out in the will, or were not prepared to,” Mr Thomas said.
He said the organisation ceased dispersing Mr Werner’s funds in 2005.
Almost $600,000 remains in the estate.
The court documents seek an order from the court to allow Perpetual Trust to distribute the remainder of Mr Werner’s money to The Smith Family.
Perpetual Trust say the charity would then pass on the money in a manner as near as possible to Mr Werner’s wishes.
Mr Thomas said Mr Werner’s funds would go to a program The Smith Family operates to assist disadvantaged children.
“Negotiations with The Smith Family .. confirmed it is not able to confirm the religion [of children] and it’s not its practice to collect such information,” he said.
“Perpetual Trust considers that it now has no other option but to make this application to the court for an order to apply the income from the trust [as close as possible].”
The case has been adjourned will return to court on a date to be fixed.