Renewable Power: Court permits Attorney to renew superannuation nomination (QLD)

For a while now, it's been a hazy question asked by succession lawyers alike about whether an attorney can make or renew a binding death benefit nomination for their principal's superannuation policy proceeds. On 24 August 2018, Justice Bowskill of the Supreme Court of Queensland delivered a decision on this very topic. The case of … Continue reading Renewable Power: Court permits Attorney to renew superannuation nomination (QLD)

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

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 … Continue reading FPA 7 years out of time: Allowed on Appeal (WA)

Selfless surrender: defacto partner applies for Statutory Will to benefit mother and sisters (NSW)

  Sadly, it's not often I read of a case where the applicant/plaintiff's endeavours lack self-interest. Given the nature of estate litigation, generally in a good portion of the cases, self-interest takes a front seat.  Of course, that doesn't mean to say that it is greed or something sinister that drives a person to take … Continue reading Selfless surrender: defacto partner applies for Statutory Will to benefit mother and sisters (NSW)

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

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

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 … Continue reading Rural farming and interpretation of “farming machinery” within a Will