Family provision claims
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.