Child of de facto spouse = Step-child in FPA; Decision upheld on Appeal (VIC)

In September last year, I wrote of case in Victoria where a child of the de facto partner of a deceased person made a claim on the estate by claiming they were a "step-child" within the meaning of the legislation. For background, you can read that article here. Yesterday, the Victorian Court of Appeal published [...]

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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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Crossing borders: Disputes and Domicile

I've always been fascinated by this particular question as to how to resolve a dispute where the issue of the deceased's domicile is in question.  There have been a few cases that discuss the issue of domicile, but the question as to what should happen when this issue is in dispute AND there's a dispute as to a matter [...]

Question, answered. Does a Solicitor owe a duty to a disappointed beneficiary?

The long awaited decision of Badenach v Calvert [2016] HCA 18 was handed down today by the High Court of Australia.  Does a solicitor owe a duty to an intended beneficiary?  Well, it depends, but in this case, the short answer is no.  And here's why: By way of background, the case of Calvert v Badenach caught [...]