Blog

Important Amendments to Qld Succession Laws: a sign of the times

We live in a different age.  We live in a world where blended families are a common fixture within our communities.  I, personally, know many beautiful blended families and I’m sure many of my readers do also.  In fact, I’m sure there are some of my readers that may know blended families that are closer…

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Burden of secrets: Claim for secret trust within an FPA by grandchild (NSW)

Within a family dynamic, particularly as the elderly age and consider their demise, it’s common to hear of conversations being held between family members of “understandings” and benefits that may flow the next generation on the death of the elder. Promises made and, sometimes, others rely on those alleged promises. So what happens where there’s a secret of a…

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A Shared Life: Family provision claim by same-sex defacto of 30 years

For those of my readers who are not familiar with estate litigation matters, it is common for parties to apply to the Court to “sign-off” on negotiated outcomes following a private mediation.  This is particularly so where the estate property is comprised of real property. As such, I thought it worthwhile to write a short note on the latest case of Roberts…

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Not all about the money: Why executor appointments are just as important

When people make a Will, they’re usually predominately concerned with who they will distribute their assets to after they’ve passed.  An exceptionally important part of making a Will is appointing a person as an Executor who will then administer your estate in accordance with the directions you’ve left in your Will. Unsurprisingly, the Courts end up attempting to resolve disputes as to who was ‘rightfully’ appointed as…

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Escaping the Nest: Abandoning a right to reside and FPA 15 years out of time

Recently, the NSW Supreme Court determined a slightly unusual coupling of issues; a construction matter as to a right to reside conditional upon payment of expenses alongside a family provision claim over 15 years out of time. The recent case of Estate of George Roby, deceased [2017] NSWSC 265 involved the estate of the late George Roby who passed…

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Australian Citizen resident in China leaves a “note” for mum

Update! This case was successfully appealed in June 2017.  Read my article on the appeal here. Documenting your wishes is simple in theory, but quite a different story in real world.  The Supreme Court of Victoria had quite the job recently in  deciphering whether a note a man left behind was considered to be his “Will” and…

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Timing is everything: FPA out of time by 10 days allowed on appeal

For those of you who aren’t aware, last year saw the Supreme Court dismiss a family provision application that was filed only 10 days past the limitation date in the matter of Mortimer v Lusink & Ors [2016] QSC 119.  As you probably would appreciate, this was met with quite a lot of interest in my world.  I’m sure…

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Family Ties: Former wife successful in FPA where financial settlement finalised 25 years prior

I read, with interest, the recent case of Lodin v Lodin; Estate of Dr Mohammad Masoud Lodin [2017] NSWSC 10, which dealt with a family provision claim by a former spouse of the deceased where a financial property settlement had been reached some 25 years prior to the deceased’s date of death. In New South Wales, a claim for family…

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Blood thicker than water: novel intestacy case in NSW, Aboriginal half-sisters vs adoptive half-sisters

Starting the year off on a very novel case of an intestacy contest, Justice Lindsay of the Supreme Court of New South Wales was called to determine how distribution of an indigenous man’s estate should be distributed where his surviving family were Aboriginal half-sisters and adoptive half-sisters. The case of Re Estate Wilson, Deceased [2017] NSWSC…

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Lost time is never found again: FPA 63 days out of time dismissed

Lost time is never found again – Benjamin Franklin. Another example of how important deadlines are in a family provision application (FPA), the Queensland Supreme Court was called to determine an application for leave to proceed with an FPA out of time. The case of Frastika v Cosgrove as executor of the estate of Russell…

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“There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” – Imposter Testator and the Supreme Court

“There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” – Dr Seuss In an odd case, Chief Justice Catherine Holmes was called upon to determine an application of probate in solemn form with a side order of an imposter claim. In the case Martin Terrence Farrell v Warren Elbridge Boston [2016] QSC 278, the Applicant, Martin…

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Contracting in Cali: Breach of contract to make Will

“Whatever starts in California unfortunately has an inclination to spread“: Jimmy Carter Gregory Coote was an Australian born entertainment mogul who sadly died earlier this year. Whilst he was born in Oz, he spent most of his later years living in California. In 2011, Mr Coote had been party to divorce proceedings from his second wife and subsequently entered into…

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Computer Will upheld

In the Estate of Robin Michael (Deceased) [2016] SASC 164, the Supreme Court of South Australia held that a computer document was to be admitted to probate as the last will and testatment of the deceased. The Court itemised the following main issues to be determined were: Was the will on the deceased’s hard drive of…

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An offer is an offer, no matter how small?: Costs in FPA after parentage test negative. Dismiss/Discontinue?

Recently, the Supreme Court of New South Wales  was tasked with determining whether the Court should dismiss or discontinue proceedings following the plaintiff’s parentage testing resulting in him not being the deceased’s child and therefore not an eligible person to make a claim. In the matter of Patterson v Scott [2016] NSWSC 1477 the Court heard that the plaintiff had commenced a family provision…

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