Optional Extra: Court held exercise of Option to Purchase not done properly

Michele Davis

Will making is sometimes pretty complex work. The plan will always be unique to a person’s wishes and the personal circumstances.  Every so often, I receive instructions from clients to include an ‘option’ for one of their family or friends to purchase their property. Usually, this is because they’re trying to balance at least two things: the equality among their intended beneficiaries and the wish for someone to receive a certain property.

One of the things that can be difficult with options to purchase properties is the way in which the clause that grants that option is crafted.  Does it contemplate how long that person has to say “Yes, I want to buy!”? Is that time reasonable? What should the purchase price be? If they don’t exercise the option to buy, then what happens after that?

A recent case of Cranitch v Cranitch & Ors [2019] QSC 42 brought this…

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Rectification where instructions given through an intermediary

Judgment was given this morning by Henry J in a rectification case where the deceased had given instructions for a will through his daughter. His Honour found "it is trite that instructions can be conveyed by an agent" and rectified the will to accord with those instructions. Read Fitzgerald v Rowley [2019] QSC 21 here. 

What is a “Purported will”?

S33Z of the Succession Act (Qld) provides that a person who has possession or control of a will of a deceased testator must, if asked, allow an entitled person to inspect the will and/or give a certified copy of the will on payment of the person’s reasonable expenses. will includes— (a) a purported will or revoked will; and (b) a part … Continue reading What is a “Purported will”?

Another video will

This week Jackson J admitted a video recording to probate, made by the deceased and comprising a file on his personal computer. In it, the deceased said "My girlfriend would like me to do a will before I pick up my motorcycle. As I am too lazy, I’ll just say it... I’ll fill out the … Continue reading Another video will

Australia wide Doyle’s List

I am really excited to be named one of the five preeminent junior counsel for the whole of Australia in the 2018 Doyle's List for "Leading Wills & Estates Litigation Barristers – Australia".  Also, the only Queenslander, and the only female barrister on the preeminent list.  You can view the list here.

Court confirms attorney can make BDBN

Last Friday, Bowskill J of the Queensland Supreme Court held that a binding death benefit nomination (BDBN) made by attorneys was valid, in circumstances where the BDBN was confirming a nomination previously made by the principal. The judgment is very well reasoned and a relatively easy read. CAUTION - this case should not be treated … Continue reading Court confirms attorney can make BDBN

Removal of executors at loggerheads

In a judgment delivered this morning, Davis J removed two executors who were at loggerheads, without any finding of fault or unfitness to occupy office.  His Honour found that the due and proper administration of the estate was best served by their removal and the appointment of an independent administrator. Read Re McLennan here.

Mobile phone video recording admitted to probate

Judgment was given and probate granted yesterday in the well-publicised case of the mobile phone video will.  Reasons yet to be published (they were given ex temp, but his Honour has indicated he intends to publish them), I will post them when they are. See the Courier Mail article here. A lot of fellow succession … Continue reading Mobile phone video recording admitted to probate