Estate Litigation

Who is a child, and can they make a claim against your estate?

Who is a child, and can they make a claim against your estate?

In Queensland, for the purposes of making an application for further provision from an estate, a child is eligible. However, the definition of ‘child’ is three fold. Effectively, a child of a deceased includes: A natural child; An adopted child; or A step-child. Who are natural children? Under section 40 of the Succession Act 1981 […]

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Estrangement – are you in or are you out?

Estrangement – are you in or are you out?

Although unfortunate, it is common that parent and child are unable to forge out their issues. However, the result in some circumstances means their relationship is marred by estrangement. Estrangement between a deceased and a child seems to be a recurring issue that is raised with me by clients involved in a family provision claim. […]

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Disentitling Conduct – Mind your manners

Disentitling Conduct – Mind your manners

I am often asked by clients about “disentitling conduct” in the context of a claim for further provision from an estate by a child of a deceased. Clients generally raise with me things that the claimant has done to the deceased and the deceased’s family throughout the deceased’s lifetime, and want to know whether the […]

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Time limits for making a claim for further provision

Time limits for making a claim for further provision

I am often asked about the time limits of when a claim for further provision from an estate can be made. When considering a claim for further provision from an estate, it is important to act sooner rather than later as an unexplainable delay could mean the court will refuse to hear your claim. You […]

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Who is a spouse or de facto partner of a deceased?

Who is a spouse or de facto partner of a deceased?

I have received a number of enquiries lately in relation to a partner of a deceased wanting to either apply for Letters of Administration on Intestacy for their deceased partner’s estate or to make a claim against the estate. To be the ‘spouse’ of a deceased, consideration must be given to your specific circumstances. I […]

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Executors versus beneficiaries – what are your rights?

Executors versus beneficiaries – what are your rights?

Recently I’ve been contacted by a growing amount of people who are worried about the effectiveness and in some cases ulterior motives of a representative of an estate. An executor or trustee of a deceased estate has a duty to the beneficiaries to protect the estate’s assets and ultimately, their inheritance. If a representative breaches […]

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Suspicious circumstances surrounding a will – what are the odds?

Suspicious circumstances surrounding a will – what are the odds?

I am often approached with matters which involve a deceased person having changed their will suddenly before their passing. A claim of suspicious circumstances surrounding the execution of a will can sometimes be made in such a situation. Careful consideration is needed and there must be a legitimate concern relating to the purported will. What […]

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Family Provision Claims – How much is enough in the context of a large estate?

Family Provision Claims – How much is enough in the context of a large estate?

On 26 February 2015, the Western Australia Supreme Court handed down a significant and reinforcing judgement in the context of family provision claims in large estates. What were the facts? The facts of the case are as follows: the plaintiff was the 19 year old daughter of iron ore magnate, the late Michael Wright (the […]

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Rea Costello (deceased) [2014] SASC 134 – Avoiding uncertainty when preparing a Will

Rea Costello (deceased) [2014] SASC 134 – Avoiding uncertainty when preparing a Will

I often find that clients have trouble choosing whom to appoint as their Executor in their Will. There seems to be a perception that when appointing an Executor, the Willmaker is bestowing a great honour on the person they choose. Some clients believe they will be offending their loved ones if they appoint one person […]

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