Will Challenge – Record Provision for Domestic Partner

We acted for a long-term domestic partner of the deceased who challenged the terms of his late partner’s Will. His relationship with the deceased and eligibility to bring a claim was not in dispute but the matter had to be litigated in relation to the quantum of provision sought for his ‘proper maintenance and support’.

The Will had been prepared by the deceased in the early stages of their relationship, the terms of which provided a mere ‘right of residence’ for our client to remain at the deceased’s property until he was no longer able to do so. The balance of the estate was to be held for the deceased’s adult daughter (from a prior relationship) and her descendants via a trust.

In the years that followed, the deceased was diagnosed with a degenerative illness and required around-the-clock care. Our client gave up his work to support and coordinate a team of carers for the deceased up until her death.

The assets of the estate were in excess of $25 million – but the parties were in dispute about this value and in particular, the value of the deceased’s property located on the Mornington Peninsula.

The Defendant’s executors made suggestions that our client should ‘get back into the workforce’ to support himself in an attempt to limit the provision to be made for him out of the estate. Our client was 68 years old.

As part of the estate litigation, the parties attended mediation and reached a resolution in which our client will receive a substantial payout – one of the highest amounts of provision to be made in Victoria.

Estate litigation involving Will challenges is a highly specialised area of law. Our team at Danaher Moulton has two accredited specialists in Wills + Estates and our Naomi Guyett has also been recognized as a leader in Doyles’ Guide since 2019 in Estate litigation in Victoria.

If you have any matters or clients that require advice in this regard, please do not hesitate to contact Naomi Guyett or Bianca Apollonio on 1300 363 314.

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