Published 07 Jul 2015
Author: Richele Nelsen
Mr K and Mrs P contacted our office after the death of their late mother’s de-facto partner. When our clients were young children their mother entered into a relationship with the deceased. Whilst he did not completely move in with them and maintained his own residence he did regularly stay at their home. Mr K and Mrs P’s mother died in the 1990’s. They continued to have regular contact with their mother’s partner who played a father like role throughout their lives. When he died he left his estate to charity. Shocked by this Mr K and Mrs P contacted GMP Will Dispute Team to assist in a claim for family provision on his estate.
The NSW Trustee and Guardian was the executor of the deceased’s estate and initially denied that our clients were eligible persons to claim on the deceased’s estate. Because our clients were not children of the deceased our contested wills team had to establish that our clients had lived with and were dependent upon the deceased at some time during his life. The NSW Trustee and Guardian denied that our clients had lived with the deceased as he had always maintained his own residence throughout the relationship with our clients’ mother. We argued that the deceased could hold more than one residence at a time and that there was sufficient evidence that he regarded our clients’ family home as one of his residences. The deceased kept clothing and toiletries at the home in which our clients lived. He stayed over regularly and often contributed to household expenses.
Whilst both of our clients were working they each had a mortgage and substantial credit card debts. Throughout his lifetime the deceased assisted them financially and emotionally acting as a father figure.
Our family provision claims lawyers commenced proceedings bringing forth an action for family provision on behalf of Mr K and Mrs P. We were able to produce sufficient evidence to convince the executors of the estate that our clients’ claims were likely to succeed. We were then able to successfully resolve our clients’ claims whereby they jointly received in excess of $600,000 from the estate.
Have you been left out of a Will? Do you have an enquiry regarding contesting a Will? Contact GMP today to see if our experienced Family Provision Claims Lawyers can assist you.