“We were in a de facto relationship and I should inherit some of his estate.” Which case won?
Man executes will in favour of relatives and former spouse
On 8 August 2000, a man executed a will naming his younger brother as his executor. The will left certain items of personal property to his two brothers, his nephews and his niece.
He left the rest of his estate to a woman identified in the will as his spouse. Though they had never married, they had lived in a de facto relationship since 1993 and continued to do so until 2007.
In July 2007, the man met another woman, the plaintiff, when she applied to volunteer at the youth centre where he worked. At the time he was 61 years old and she was 32. In about 2008, they embarked on a romantic relationship.
No provision made for plaintiff in man’s will
On 13 December 2015 the man died.
The brother who was the executor was granted probate, authorising him to manage the man’s estate in accordance with the provisions of the will that he had executed in 2000.
The value of the estate available for distribution under the will was about $582,573.
The will made no provision for the plaintiff.
Plaintiff seeks family provision order in relation to man’s estate
The plaintiff filed a summons in the Supreme Court of NSW, seeking a family provision order, arguing that she was eligible as either the deceased’s de facto partner at the time of his death, or as a member of his household and dependent on him.
The deceased’s brother, as the executor of the deceased’s estate, was the defendant in these proceedings.
Although it was not in dispute that there had been a relationship between the plaintiff and the deceased, the precise nature, extent, and duration of that relationship was a hotly contested issue in the court proceedings.