Leave ’em a loan: Liability to pay mortgage left with joint tenant

The liability of a mortgage is probably one of the most significant liabilities a couple will share. Whilst many times it’s a fairly equal distribution of that liability when everything is held jointly, it’s not always the case in circumstances of second/later relationships or a singular income earner and home maker. The recent decision of…

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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…

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Family Values: successful FPA by trans woman, following estrangement & disharmony among family (VIC)

I recently read an interesting media article on a family provision case and had to look further into get to the bottom of it. It involves a case where an adult child made a claim against a father’s estate for further provision having received no provision from the estate under the father’s Will. What was…

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Pandemic or Prejudice: FPA hearing vacated amid COVID-19 (ACT)

I sincerely hope this reaches my readers, followers, and passers-by in a situation where they are safe and well during this tumultuous time in the world! For those in litigation, your practice is changing daily as we wait (and wait) for certainty (if it is ever arrives!); and those hearings aren’t going anywhere.. or are…

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Conduct that disentitles: son’s application for FPA fails (QLD)

When someone contests a Will after being left out or not getting what they feel is their fair share, it’s more often than not that the surviving family want to suggest that that person’s conduct doesn’t entitlement to more, or sometimes anything. This is what us #lawnerds term as “disentitling conduct” in the context of…

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Decision Impossible, Part 2: Appeal against disabled son’s FPA dismissed, with costs

Near the end of last year, I wrote a post about an FPA by a disabled son where provision was ordered in favour of that son to the detriment of the surviving widow of the deceased. This was, I feel, aptly described in the title as “Decision Impossible” as the effect of the order was…

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Fractured Relationship: abuse and estrangement in FPA, provision ordered (NSW)

In the first post of this year, it seems fitting to write on the topic of disentitling conduct and estrangement, given my research interests in this space. Sadly, late last year saw the NSW Supreme Court determine a family provision application by a son against his father’s estate in what was clearly a very difficult…

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Decision Impossible: FPA by disabled son against widow, forcing sale of family home in notional estate (NSW)

Recently, the NSW Supreme Court determined a very difficult family provision application by an adult son, in circumstances where the adult son was otherwise healthy when the deceased passed away, but subsequently suffered significant health issues following his father’s death. Further, the only available assets for such a family provision claim were via notional estate.…

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Danger Zone: costs against plaintiff in FPA in small estate (NSW)

Family provision claims in small estates is an inherit danger zone for claimants and lawyers. The recent case of Wengdal v Rawnsley [2019] NSWSC 926 has demonstrated this again where Justice Hallen has ordered that the plaintiff’s claim be dismissed and the plaintiff pay the defendant’s costs on the ordinary basis. In this case, the deceased…

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Renewable Power: Court permits Attorney to renew superannuation nomination (QLD)

For a while now, it’s been a hazy question asked by succession lawyers alike about whether an attorney can make or renew a binding death benefit nomination for their principal’s superannuation policy proceeds. On 24 August 2018, Justice Bowskill of the Supreme Court of Queensland delivered a decision on this very topic. The case of…

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What is “Contemplation of marriage”: Marriage revokes Will in blended family (NSW)

Last week, the Supreme Court of New South Wales published a judgement in a estate matter where the question of whether a Will was “made in contemplation of marriage” was a central focus of their attention. In the case of Re Estate Grant, deceased [2018] NSWSC 1031, the deceased made a Will dated on about…

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“Divorced from reality”: Appeal allowed in former spouse FPA claim (NSW)

Earlier this year, I was surprised to read a judgement where a former spouse successfully claimed for further provision from her former husband’s estate notwithstanding the pair had completed a property settlement 25 years prior. You can read my earlier post here. It may come as no surprise that the matter was appealed to the…

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Excluded child’s claim dismissed: 40 years of estrangement after bitter divorce (NSW)

In case it’s not already evident to my readers, I have a particular interest in family provision cases that touch on disentitling conduct or estrangement.  So, it’s no surprise this recent case in the Supreme Court of NSW caught my eye yesterday where a family provision application by an adult child, who was excluded from…

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“Child Support”: Effect on earning capacity and meaning of “Support” in an FPA (Qld)

Imagine if you had a child with your partner and the relationship failed, resulting in your separation and shared parenting relationship.  Then, your former partner passes away. How much did you depend on your former partner for support or help? “Support” or “help” can be pretty subjective words when it’s this kind of scenario.  You…

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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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