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Recent Cases

Estate Planning Case Examples

  • First Case Example:

    The problem

    A woman died with few assets other than her superannuation fund. The death benefit arising out of the fund totalled $65,000.00. The fund informed the woman’s domestic partner of 15 years that the trustee of the fund intended to pay the whole death benefit to the deceased’s two adult daughters.

    The resolution

    Slater and Gordon made an objection to the proposed payment on behalf of the domestic partner and requested that the trustee of the fund pay 50% of the death benefit to him and the remaining 50% to the deceased’s two daughters.

    The outcome

    The claim was successful. The trustee reviewed its determination and ultimately our client received 50% of the deceased’s superannuation benefit.

  • Second Case Example:

    The problem

    A brother and sister were excluded from their deceased father’s will. They did not have a good relationship with their father as he was a very domineering person who physically and emotionally abused them. As a result of their abusive upbringing, they both suffered from anxiety and depression. Both were in financial need.

    The resolution

    Slater and Gordon issued proceedings seeking provision from the father’s estate on behalf of his children.

    The outcome

    The matter was successfully resolved at mediation on the basis that our clients received $170,000.00 each plus payment of their legal costs.

  • Third Case Example:

    The problem 

    The deceased left his entire estate to his second wife. When the wife died years later, she left the whole of her estate to her two biological children from a previous relationship and excluded her step-children by her deceased husband. The main asset of the wife’s estate was a house that had been purchased by her and her husband. This house was purchased using the proceeds of sale of a house that the deceased husband had inherited from his mother.

    The resolution

    Slater and Gordon acted on behalf of the step-sons in a claim for provision from their stepmother’s estate and negotiated a resolution of the claim without the need to issue legal proceedings.

    The outcome

    The step-sons received $150,000.00 from the stepmother’s estate.

  • Fourth Case Example:

    The problem

    During the five months before he died, Michael was seriously ill. Specifically, he suffered from brain tumours, was partially paralysed and had difficulty communicating and speaking.

    When Michael died, his children were shocked to discover that he had signed three separate wills during this time. His last will left the bulk of his estate to his new wife of only six months and only a small amount to his children.

    The resolution

    Slater and Gordon issued proceedings seeking further provision from Michael’s estate on behalf of his children. 

    The outcome

    The claim settled at mediation and the children received $220,000.00 from their father’s estate.

  • Fifth Case Example:

    The problem

    A hospital worker made an application to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to have an administrator appointed for an 80-year-old man who no longer had capacity to manage his affairs. The man’s cousin had tried to arrange for him to sign a power of attorney in favour of her on several occasions and had expressed interest in being appointed his administrator. The man’s son, his only child, opposed this and wished to be appointed his father’s administrator himself.

    The resolution

    Slater and Gordon represented the son at the VCAT hearing in relation to his father’s administration.

    The outcome

    The son was appointed his father’s administrator.

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