The Unsent Text Message Will: Is it really that simple? No – it’s really not!

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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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 [...]

No Will, no way?: Court refuses application for statutory Will in large estate (Qld)

Admittedly, it's not something that one regularly thinks about, but the issue of incapacitated people making Wills is a topic that achieves much discussion nowadays. Where a person doesn't have a Will, whether by choice or otherwise, the law provides what I like to call a "back-up plan" or formula, if you will, of how [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Dare to Care: Close personal relationship in FPA (NSW)

Many people would have a different view of exactly what a "close personal relationship" may look like. In New South Wales Family Provision law, their collection of people who may make a claim on an estate further further provision is much wider than that of Queensland.  Under section 57(1)(f) of the Succession Act 2006 (NSW), [...]

Competing Relationships: Needs of De Facto vs Adult Children

Relationships and tragedy are a complex maze of emotions.  In the very sad case of Gore v Rouse [2017] QDC 98, Mr Gore was tragically killed in a tree lopping incident at the home of his de facto partner, Mrs Rouse. Mr Gore was 63 years old. Mr Gore was survived by three adult children, Tracey (from his first marriage), [...]