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…

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Catch and Release: Court considers when s33Z applies to a ‘purported’ Will (Qld)

Recently, the case of Saltmer v Rennick Lawyers Pty Ltd [2018] QSC 307 was heard in the Supreme Court of Queensland in Townsville where the Court was called upon to question of costs in a situation where a deceased person’s family member requested a copy of a document held by a Solicitor that the family…

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Missing element: High Court orders new trial in solemn form probate proceedings; denial of procedural fairness

It appears to be raining estate and trust law cases from the High Court of Australia over the last two weeks. Yesterday, the High Court of Australia ordered a new trial be held in relation to solemn form probate proceedings in Nobarani v Mariconte [2018] HCA 36 on the basis that the appellant as denied…

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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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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…

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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…

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Not all about the money: Why executor appointments are just as important

When people make a Will, they’re usually predominately concerned with who they will distribute their assets to after they’ve passed.  An exceptionally important part of making a Will is appointing a person as an Executor who will then administer your estate in accordance with the directions you’ve left in your Will. Unsurprisingly, the Courts end up attempting to resolve disputes as to who was ‘rightfully’ appointed as…

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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…

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“There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” – Imposter Testator and the Supreme Court

“There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” – Dr Seuss In an odd case, Chief Justice Catherine Holmes was called upon to determine an application of probate in solemn form with a side order of an imposter claim. In the case Martin Terrence Farrell v Warren Elbridge Boston [2016] QSC 278, the Applicant, Martin…

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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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Order for disclosure sought against executors of estate

Not your average case, but I nonetheless found the case of Helg v Sergiacomi & Another [2014] QSC 50 an interesting read. Both parties were self-represented and the claim and assertions somewhat unclear.  Ultimately, the applicant sought disclosure of documents relating the deceased’s estate of transactions during the deceased’s lifetime including a Trust Deed and mortgage documentation.  …

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