Fam­ily pro­vi­sion claims

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - YOUR SAY - HY­PO­THET­I­CAL MANNY WOOD

STEVEN has been liv­ing with and car­ing for his mother, Amanda, for many years.

Amanda owns a one-third share of the prop­erty and the rest of the prop­erty is owned by other fam­ily mem­bers.

Amanda’s only other child, Robin, lives alone in Depart­ment of Hous­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion. When Amanda dies, she leaves her whole es­tate to Steven. At the time of mak­ing her will, Amanda com­posed a let­ter out­lin­ing her rea­sons.

Robin con­tests the will, seek­ing pro­vi­sion.

The court cites a pre­vi­ous de­ci­sion, stat­ing: “No dis­pute can be blood­ier than when the blood, thicker than wa­ter, is spilled co­pi­ously in un­com­pro­mis­ing and un­com­pro­mised lit­i­ga­tion be­tween (si­b­lings) in a fight over their in­her­i­tance.”

The court ac­cepts Robin’s ev­i­dence she suf­fers from a num­ber of med­i­cal con­di­tions in­clud­ing chronic schizophre­nia, fi­bromyal­gia, angina and chronic pain.

The court notes that Robin has se­cure ac­com­mo­da­tion al­beit Depart­ment of Hous­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion. The court also notes Robin re­ceives a dis­abil­ity sup­port pen­sion and has been ap­proved for as­sis­tance un­der the Na­tional Dis­abil­ity Sup­port Scheme.

Fac­ing a dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion, in cir­cum­stances where Robin re­ceives no pro­vi­sion from her mother’s es­tate and has few as­sets and only a small Cen­tre­link in­come, the court ul­ti­mately dis­misses her claim in light of Steven’s needs and Amanda’s wishes.

Fam­ily pro­vi­sion pro­ceed­ings make up the big­gest list in the Supreme Court, con­sti­tut­ing around 80 new mat­ters per month. About 80 per cent of these are made by chil­dren, chal­leng­ing the pro­vi­sion in their par­ent’s will. About 90 per cent of these mat­ters are set­tled be­tween the par­ties and only the re­main­ing 10 per cent re­sult in a hear­ing. Most of these mat­ters are set­tled at me­di­a­tion.

If you would like Manny to ad­dress a par­tic­u­lar le­gal is­sue, send your re­quest to manny.wood@ticli­blax­land. com.au or 6648 7487.

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