“My mum can’t claim on the estate of my dad, they split up decades ago.” Which case won?
Husband and wife divorce after 19 months of marriage
Dr and Ms L met in 1984 when he was practicing as a GP and she was his patient. Shortly after meeting, they commenced a relationship and their daughter was born in 1986.
Dr and Ms L married in 1988. However, the relationship was short and they separated in 1990, after 19 months of marriage.
Family Court proceedings were commenced in April 1992 and the property settlement was finalised in December 1992, with Ms L receiving 38% of the property pool.
The divorce was finalised in 1995.
Husband dies without leaving will and estate goes to daughter
Dr L died in June 2014, about 24 years after separating from Ms L. He did not leave a will, but did leave behind an estate worth $5 million.
At the time of his death, Dr L was estranged from his daughter, whom he had not seen in 13 years.
Following the grant of administration by the Supreme Court, the estate was distributed to the daughter under the rules relating to the distribution of an estate on intestacy.
Ex-wife successfully claims for family provision and daughter appeals
Ms L made a claim against her ex-husband’s estate under the NSW Succession Act 2006 (“the Act”), which allows a former spouse to make a family provision claim against an estate.
At the time, Ms L’s financial circumstances were poor, with her main source of income being the disability support pension that she had been receiving since being injured in a car crash in 2000. She also had ongoing health problems, including diabetes and chronic pain, as well as restrictions from the spinal injuries she had suffered in the car accident.
In 2017, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Ms L and awarded her $750,000 out of her ex-husband’s $5 million estate.
The daughter made an application to the NSW Court of Appeal to appeal this decision.