Published 09 Aug 2016
Author: Richele Nelsen
Our client, a resident of Northern New South Wales, contacted GMP Contesting a Will Lawyers following the death of her de-facto partner. The deceased left an Estate worth approximately $900,000, the entirety of which was left to his 5 children from previous marriages. Our client was left with no provision from her late partner’s will. She then contacted GMP to enquire about contesting a will to seek provision for her maintenance.
Our client had been in a de-facto relationship with the deceased for a period of 3 years at the time of his death. She owned her property in Northern New South Wales where they lived together throughout the course of their relationship. The deceased maintained a property in Victoria where he would often travel to visit his 5 children. At the time of his death 2 of the deceased’s children were adults and 3 were minors. Each child stood to receive approximately $180,000 from their late father’s estate.
Our client was 66 years of age, owned her home in Northern New South Wales, relied on a pension as her only source of income and had credit card debts of approximately $70,000. During the course of the 3 year de-facto relationship our client became dependent upon the deceased to assist with day to day costs of living. When he passed away, leaving her nothing in his will, he failed to provide adequate provision for her maintenance.
The deceased passed away whilst he was in Victoria visiting his children. His last will and testament appointed his adult son as the executor and probate was sought and granted in Victoria. As such, any claim for Family Provision on behalf of our client would need to be brought in Victoria in respect of the testator’s family maintenance requirement.
Our experienced Family Provision Lawyers were confident that a successful result could be achieved in obtaining an order for the proper maintenance of our client. Accordingly, court documents were drafted and proceedings commenced in the Supreme Court of Victoria. When considering our client’s claim the courts would look at the needs of our client, the competing needs of the beneficiaries (the deceased’s children) the length of the relationship and determine whether adequate maintenance had been provided. Whilst the de-facto relationship was of a modest period, only 3 years, during that time our client had become reliant on the deceased financially.
These arguments were raised at a mediation of our client’s claim which lead to a successful settlement of our client’s claim. We were able to successfully negotiate a settlement on the basis that our client received $175,000 from the estate. These funds could be utilised to clear our client’s debts and set aside a substantial sum of money for her future contingencies of life.
Have you been left out of a will? Do you have an enquiry about contesting a will? Contact GMP today.