Elder Abuse = Disentitling Conduct: FPA by adult daughter dismissed with costs

It is no surprise to any of my colleagues in the succession world that this topic is of great interest to me. So, you can imagine my interest when I found this case. A few days ago, the New South Wales Supreme Court determined a matter that involved a family provision claim by an adult…

Read More

Changes to decisionmaker laws to commence soon (QLD)

You might recall that last year I wrote a post on new changes to laws for attorneys and administrators following the passing of the Guardianship and Administration and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019. With the craziness that we now call COVID-19, the implementation of these changes that was scheduled for 30 March 2020 was postponed…

Read More

Criminally unkind: ACT passes elder abuse legislation

On 20 August 2020, the Australian Capital Territory passed legislation criminalising acts of abuse of vulnerable people. The term ‘elder abuse’, for many, is a problematic term as it suggests it is only an abuse that only affects elders, when the truth of it is, it affects those that are vulernable. The new legislation acknowledges…

Read More

No Undue Influence + Mutual Wills: Appeal dismissed in Birch v Birch case (Qld)

I have been eagerly awaiting delivery of the appeal decision in Birch v Birch [2018] QSC 289. The case of Birch v Birch involved a situation where a mother had transferred her interest in a farming property to one of her sons, who also happened to be the mother’s duly appointed power of attorney. Whilst…

Read More

Family Affair: trust and property transfers set aside on bad faith and unconscionability (QLD)

The recent case of Campbell & Anor v T.L. Clacher No. 2 Pty LTd & Ors [2019] QSC 218 dealt with a application by two daughters as against the trustee of their family trust, the trustee of their sisters family trust and their father in respect of transactions that occurred between the parties following very…

Read More

Screen Test: Court of Appeal prefers lawyer’s evidence over medical on testamentary capacity (NSW)

Capacity is quite the minefield.  Any practitioner that works within this field, may very well agree with me.  I would even hazard a guess and go as far as to say that perhaps even medical practitioners may also share the same view. Recently, in the case of Drivas v Jakopovic [2019] NSWCA 218, the New…

Read More

Duty Bound: solicitor’s duty to beneficiary of incapable testator after inter vivos transfer

It was in the context of preparing for the delivery of my recent presentation for The Tax Institute’s Death…and Taxes Symposium on the Gold Coast recently that I come to read a recent case of solicitor negligence in the context of estate planning. In the appeal decision of McFee v Reilly [2018] NSWCA 322, a…

Read More

Selfless surrender: defacto partner applies for Statutory Will to benefit mother and sisters (NSW)

  Sadly, it’s not often I read of a case where the applicant/plaintiff’s endeavours lack self-interest. Given the nature of estate litigation, generally in a good portion of the cases, self-interest takes a front seat.  Of course, that doesn’t mean to say that it is greed or something sinister that drives a person to take…

Read More

The Unsent Text Message Will: Is it really that simple? No – it’s really not! (QLD)

It’s likely been in your news feed recently that an unsent text message was held by a Queensland Court to be a valid Will.  It may seem quite unbelievable to some that this would even happen! On the other hand, maybe it doesn’t? Reviewing the comments that appear in many of the media articles online…

Read More

Leaving a “note” for mum successfully appealed; “Note” = Will

Not all that long ago, I wrote an article on a case involving a gentleman who had passed away in China.  He was Australian Citizen who was resident in China for many years and he had left a note for his mum regarding his wishes to distribute some of his property which gave rise to…

Read More

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…

Read More