Blog

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

Executor’s duty and what to do with that additional informal document

In their last days, people can often have cause to consider additional wishes they want to record somewhere as they consider what means most to them.  Unfortunately, sometimes recording these wishes can become problematic for the executors and family left behind.  Here’s a good example: I recently read the case of Re Mangan [2016] VSC 480…

Read More

Child of defacto spouse = step-child in family provision claim

In today’s society, it’s not uncommon for someone to refer to their defacto partner’s child as their own.  They are often just as close to them, if not even closer, than their own, biological children. The Supreme Court of Victoria today handed down a decision finding that a child of a defacto spouse was a step-child of the deceased…

Read More

Rural farming and interpretation of “farming machinery” within a Will

As a regional lawyer living in a semi-rural area and with family in the farming industry (and as a succession nerd generally!), I thoroughly enjoyed reading this case. This case of Frey v Frey [2015] QDC 184 involved an issue of interpretation when the testator gifted “farming machinery” to a beneficiary. With multiple properties (gifted in various…

Read More

Family provision and 30 years of estrangement

I am always fascinated by the outcome of family provision claims where the applicant is an estranged adult child. Naturally, the case of Wright v Wright [2016] QDC 74 piqued my interest. The case involved a testator leaving a significant estate valued at approximately $1.7 million dollars. Within his last will, the testator elected to disinherit his children and benefit his siblings,…

Read More

“An amount equivalent to” a Retirement Village Exit Entitlement in a Will

With an ageing population and more testators residing in retirement villages with either freehold or leasehold interests at play, I found this case particularly interesting. The case of Suthers v Suthers [2015] QSC 285 involved a gift to the daughter of the testator of an amount of money equivalent to an amount received by the estate from the sale of the testator’s…

Read More

A Research Study – “Having the last word: Will making and Contestation in Australia”

I had the great pleasure of reading a very interesting report entitled “Having the last word: Will Making and Contestation in Australia”.

For those that want to skip to the good bits, you can access the report here.

In summary, the study was conducted over 4 years and is the bouncing baby booklet of the Public Trustees and the University of Queensland under an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant.

Read More

Two Hats: Administrator & Super fund beneficiary = breach of fiduciary duty and account for profits

Her Honour Justice Atkinson delivered judgement on the case of McIntosh v McIntosh on 16 May 2014. This case involved an application for directions by the Administrator of an estate regarding the superannuation proceeds paid directly to her as beneficiary (at the discretion of the trustees). The administrator was the deceased’s mother. The deceased was survived…

Read More

Summary judgement against the applicants in FPA

Her Honour Justice Atkinson of the Supreme Court recently granted a respondent’s application for summary judgement against the applicants in a Family Provision Application.  Reason?  Well, they filed an Originating Application (in December 2013) but hadn’t managed to follow up with further material in support of their application; save as to offer some information regarding financial…

Read More