New legislative changes for Attorneys and Administrators

While no person expects, nor wishes, to experience a lack of capacity, the very real fact of life is that they may.  Incapacity can be long term or short term and can impact everyone quite differently. The question of someone’s capacity to understand the nature and the effect of something is fraught with difficulty mainly…

Optional Extra: Court held exercise of Option to Purchase not done properly

Will making is sometimes pretty complex work. The plan will always be unique to a person’s wishes and the personal circumstances.  Every so often, I receive instructions from clients to include an ‘option’ for one of their family or friends to purchase their property. Usually, this is because they’re trying to balance at least two…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Extension of time application dismissed – 11 months out of time

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Tasmania determined an application for extension of time in a family provision matter. The case of Nicholas v Tubb [2016] TASSC 53 was an application made by the 4 adult children of the deceased testatrix. The time to bring the application expired on 27 June 2015 and the originating application was filed on…