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Woman denied interlocutory injunction ahead of inheritance dispute

Choosing to proceed with a family provision claim can be a tough decision, particularly for those still going through the grieving process. However, this may be the only option left for individuals who feel they have not been adequately provided for in a will.

This is how one woman based in Coonabarabran may have felt when she filed for an interlocutory injunction to be granted on a property owned by her deceased father.

If approved, the injunction would prevent the sale of the house in Earlwood, which was a process already set in motion by the decedent’s sister – an executor of the will who had been granted probate.

The daughter tried to block the sale because she intended to embark on a family provision claim, after only receiving $2,000 in her father’s will. This was despite his estate having a value of more than $1.3 million, the majority of which he left to his sister.

As such, the daughter intended to make a claim for the whole property.

Request for interlocutory injunction

The sister argued that the sale of the property was necessary to stop the property’s value, currently estimated at approximately $800,000, from plummeting due to its poor condition.

She was also concerned that the estate could face a public liability claim if someone was injured at the house, which was being rented at the time.

However, counsel for the plaintiff said the home was merely in need of redecorating and some gardening. According to the NSW Supreme Court judge overseeing the case, this claim was undermined by the fact the daughter had asked for between $50,000 and $80,000 from the estate to renovate the property.

There was further evidence of the property’s disrepair in that the current tenant was paying under the market price in rent to live at the house.

Judge denies interlocutory injunction

Despite offering other evidence to support her claim, such as the house being a more suitable home for her and her sons, the daughter was unsuccessful in getting the injunction.

It was suggested she had little emotional connection to the property, did not work nearby and had no substantial employment opportunities lined up in the area.

Therefore, the judge decided that the sale of the property could go ahead and the proceeds would become part of the estate, which would still be open to an inheritance dispute if the daughter wished to file in the future.

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Contesting Wills
 — Gerard Malouf & Partners

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