Estate Litigation concerns suits against the Estate of a deceased person, usually because they were passed over for an inheritance but also in relation to how the Estate is being managed or in relation to the validity of a Will.
An area of law of specific focus in respect of costs orders is family provision matters, commonly known as ‘estate disputes’. Section 99 of the Succession Act 2006 (NSW) states that the court may order the costs of proceedings in relation to a deceased’s estate to be paid out of the estate “in such manner as the Court thinks fit”. This grants the court wide discretion in respect of the costs orders it may make in interlocutory matters and the overall proceedings.
The recent decision of Estate of the late James Sundell  NSWSC 1108 highlights the issues and complexities that surround making handwritten amendments to a Will after it has already been signed.
If you are concerned that a Will was signed in suspicious conditions, you are able to challenge it. The NSW Court of Appeal in its recent decision of Mekhail v Hana; Mekail v Hana  had reason to consider this question and identified the major legal principles to be considered for a suspicious Will.
The sense of loss and grief after losing a loved one is heightened when the Executor seems to be unwilling or is unable to process the Will by applying for the grant of probate. A delay can see the assets devaluing.
What is a Mutual Will?
This article uses the matter of Reilly v Reilly  NSW CA 322 to outline what an Enduring Power of Attorney is able to do without express power.
When partners purchase a property together they are known as joint tenants. The most important legal concept in joint ownership is survivorship. So, what does that mean?
It is an interesting scenario when considering if the assets of a testamentary trust should be treated as property in a divisible pool of assets in a family law dispute. More commonly these issues have been considered in relation to inter vivos Discretionary trusts. There is however, a series of family law cases which help to establish key principles.
How many anniversaries do you need to have until you have a claim on your de facto partner's estate?
In the matter of the Estate of Hawkins; Huxtable v Hawkins  NSW SC 174, Mr Justice Lindsay was asked to consider whether the Plaintiff could successfully bring a claim against the estate of her de facto partner when the relationship was of only 3 years standing.