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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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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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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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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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…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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“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…

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