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…

“Probable intention”: Novel rectification case in ACT

Recently the Supreme Court in the ACT was called to determine a question of the interpretation of a Will and subsequent amendments made to the Will by the testator on the day he died. In the Estate of Rummer [2017] ACTSC 277, the Plaintiff called upon the Court to determine the true construction of the…

Worldy Wisdom: Why a pro forma will still ends up in Court

I’m always curious as to any judgement dealing with will kits or proforma wills.  I have every suspicion we will see more of these as the years go on. Recently the Court had to determine what a testator meant in the matter of Rhodes v Rhodes (as Executor of the Estate of Cecil Ronald Rhodes) & Ors…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…