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Triple Homicide and the Forfeiture Rule - Jun 2016

Estate of Raul Novosadek [2016] NSWSC 554

In a recent New South Wales case, the Court had to consider whether the “Forfeiture Rule” should be applied where a son was found not guilty of murdering his mother, his step father and his brother due to mental illness. 

Partners Donna Benge and Rod Jones, and Associate Christina Flourentzou discuss the case further.

Competing Superannuation Claims - Apr 2016

Brine v Carter [2015] SASC 205

Justice Blue of the Supreme Court of South Australia recently considered the fiduciary duties and obligations of an Executor when the benefits of a deceased’s superannuation are being claimed. Partner Donna Benge and Rod Jones explore further.

The costly iPhone Will - Apr 2016

Yu v Yu & Ors [2015] QSC 373

In our December 2013 issue of Wills Watch, we reviewed the Queensland case of Yu. In that case, the Supreme Court found that an electronic document created by Mr Karter Yu on his iPhone shortly prior to him taking his own life was intended by Mr Yu to be his last Will and testament. Partner Donna Benge and Rod Jones discuss below.

Not every player wins a prize - Feb 2016

In commercial litigation matters, legal costs are said to “follow the event”. Consequently, the losing party will usually have to pay their own legal costs plus the legal costs of the successful party. Ultimately, this forces both parties to give careful consideration to the merits of their case and any potential offers of settlement.

Historically, litigation involving a deceased’s estate has often attracted a different approach when considering the question of who should pay the legal costs. The courts have expressed the view that a deceased’s estate should pay all legal costs of the litigation because the willmaker failed to give proper consideration to their estate planning. These costs can frequently be in excess of the financial award an applicant might achieve in the litigation. The consequence has been that some claims with dubious merit are pursued and sensible offers of settlement are rejected because an applicant takes a view that they essentially have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Til death do us right apart - Nov 2015

Partner, Donna Benge and Associate, Christina Flourentzou explore the case of Alagiah v Crouch as administrator of the estate of Ratnam Alagiah [2015] QSC 281 (8 October 2015)

Suspicious Minds - Nov 2015

In a recent New South Wales case, two children of the deceased opposed a grant of probate on the basis that they alleged it to have been executed in “suspicious circumstances”. Partner, Rod Jones and Associate, Christina Flourentzou examine.

DIY Electronic Wills - Are we moving to a new normal? - Sep 2015

In our February 2015 edition of Wills Watch, the Supreme Court of South Australia decision in the Estate of Wilden noted that for the first time in the State's history a DVD may be used as a will under Section 12(2) of the Wills Act 1936 (SA).

Two recent decisions of the Supreme Court of New South Wales confirm this apparent trend and the admissibility to probate of informal digitally recorded documents.

The Club incident and community values - Jul 2015

Recently, the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of New South Wales has given some firm guidance upon community values and expectations when an estranged adult son made an Inheritance Family Provision claim against his mother’s estate. Rod Jones and Donna Benge discuss the case of Burke v Burke [2015] NSWCA 195.

No postcard from the Philippines - Jul 2015

Alma Warriner died a widow survived by her son George aged 68 years and her daughter Jean aged 65 years. Donna Benge and Rod Jones explore the implications of her subsequent estate division.

Payment of super benefits on death of member - Jun 2015

The Federal Court has dismissed an appeal from the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT) affirming a trustee’s decision to pay certain benefits to the three adult children of a deceased member of the superannuation fund. Our Wills Watch team, Rod Jones and Donna Benge look at the decision.

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