Davis v Davis (No 2) [2012] NSWSC 523 – Revocation of grant of probate test to be applied – whether grant to named executor should be revoked – grant revoked – NSW Trustee appointed administrator .

Morrison v Abbott [2012] NSWSC 320 (5 April 2012) – FAMILY PROVISION – settlement of applicant’s claim at mediation – minor beneficiary – mother of the minor had been served with material but did not appear at mediation – settlement of claim at mediation – final orders of court sought to effect settlement – minor’s mother opposed the orders on the basis that they were not in the minor’s best interests – final orders made putting settlement into effect.

Brown v Hill [2012] NSWSC 464 (9 May 2012) 
– INFORMAL WILLS – whether a signed but unwitnessed document should be admitted to probate – held deceased did intend the document to constitute her will CONSTRUCTION OF WILLS – whether “all my worldly goods” was a gift of entire estate, or only goods and chattels – held gift of entire estate DE FACTO – dispute over whether de facto relationship existed where couple had lived together for many years, applicant had submitted tax returns as a “single man” – held there was a de facto relationship FAMILY PROVISION – adult child in necessitous circumstances – competing claim was lengthy de facto spouse also in necessitous circumstances – small estate comprising only house – ordered that de facto pay the adult child 1/3 value of the house, or sale proceeds of the house if it was required to be sold.

Jones v Jones [2012] QSC 113 – SUCCESSION – THE MAKING OF A WILL – TESTAMENTARY CAPACITY – SOUNDNESS OF MIND, MEMORY AND UNDERSTANDING – where the deceased executed two identical wills while being treated for lung cancer – where the deceased consented to a surgical procedure on one of the relevant days – where the plaintiffs contend the deceased was not of sound mind and lacked testamentary capacity – whether the deceased had the necessary capacity when the wills were executed – held no capacity.

Harrison v Harrison [2011] VSC 459 (and see Harrison & Ors v Harrison (No 2) [2012] VSC 74 for orders which were made)
– ESTOPPEL – Proprietary estoppel – Defendant brother of plaintiffs – Promises by defendant to provide for plaintiffs from bequest to him in their father’s will – Plaintiffs induced not to seek provision – Estate distributed – Whether promises made – Whether plaintiffs relied on promises – Whether detriment – Whether promises too uncertain – Relief.  HELD – promises were made – defendant knew plaintiffs were contemplating commencing proceedings and he made the representations to the plaintiffs in circumstances in which he was aware that they might induce the plaintiffs not to institute such proceedings – plaintiffs were induced by the promises – plaintiffs acted reasonably in so relying on the promises – If the plaintiffs had sought to issue FPA proceedings they would have each succeeded on an application for an extension of time within which to bring such a proceeding – (b) In such a proceeding, the Court would have ordered that provision be made out of the estate for each of the plaintiffs – Accordingly, as a consequence of relying on the promises, the plaintiffs have each lost their entitlement to provision – Applying the principles of proprietary estoppel, the plaintiffs should each be granted relief, entitling them to the amount they would have received on the FPA.