Woman denied large reimbursement from man’s estate

Published 24 Aug 2018

What happens if a home purchase was finalised and a deposit was made, but one of the parties is no longer able to live there? In a recent case, a man was admitted into an aged care facility after making such a deposit with a woman, who then made claims for compensation under the man’s estate.

Joint purchase of unit in Homebush

The couple had been living together in Waitara and had decided to buy a unit in Homebush, prior to the man’s diagnosis of dementia and admission into the care facility. The contract on the unit was made in both of their names, signed in May 2015.

However, almost a year later in March 2016, an order was made that the man’s estate was to be managed by the respondent, the NSW Trustee and Guardian, who received over $500,000 from the sale of the man’s current home.

The NSWTG decided not to proceed with the Homebush unit purchase because the man did not have enough money to buy it. He had to make a large deposit of almost $300,000 when admitted to the aged care facility.

The managers of the Homebush unit would not rescind the contract that the two had made, and thus the deposit of $65,000 had to be forfeited.

The applicant then claimed that the respondent owed her $200,000 for the Homebush unit and the NSWTG denied this claim. An internal reviewer affirmed this decision.

Other financial claims

To make matters more complicated, the NSWTG provided documents signed by the man that authorised large payments to the applicant for holidays and renovations to the unit that the couple shared in Waitara. But this document was signed after the NCAT Guardianship Division found that the man did not have the mental capacity to manage his financial affairs.

The NSWTG rejected the claim for the holiday and renovation money since the man did not have capacity to sign the authorisation, and during the hearing, the applicant agreed not to pursue those claims.

The applicant then made several other statements that the man owed her money for various purchases.

The decision to deny the claims

The judge reasoned that the woman did not provide sufficient evidence to support any of her claims for compensation from the man’s estate and that she was not a credible witness. As such, the respondent’s original decision to deny reimbursement was affirmed.

If you believe you are eligible to receive compensation from an estate but were treated unfairly in a Will, our lawyers may be able to help you. Get in touch with our team at Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers today.

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