Mutual wills & disentitling conduct – on The Heir Waves

In the latest episode of my new podcast called The Heir Waves, Caite Brewer and I discussed some interesting cases, including one that involved mutual wills and another involving, my favourite topic, disentitling conduct. Have a listen below: Title: To love and to loathe: mutual wills and disentitling conduct In this episode, Caite & Michele…

Executors behaving badly: Successful removal and IA appointed (QLD)

Getting an executor removed for undesirable behaviour can be quite the challenge in practice. Many elements are part of the equation including the conduct of the parties, the nature of the estate, the steps required to be taken to finalise the estate and the cost of appointing someone separately to administer the estate. Normally, the…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Wife support: FPA by widow dismissed with costs (NSW)

It is a suggestion that arises throughout many estate disputes that the claim of a widow on an estate should be paramount to those of other family member who survive the deceased person. However, as each case is determined on it’s merits, this is not always the case. Yesterday, the Supreme Court of New South Wales…

FPA 7 years out of time: Allowed on Appeal (WA)

In an unusual case published a few weeks ago, the Western Australian Court of Appeal allowed an extension of time for an adult son to bring a claim against his late father’s estate 7 years after the time limit expired. The claim was dismissed at first instance and the adult son appealed asserting 9 different…