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

Solicitors beware – Cost capping in FPA

Rosengren DCJ last week heard an application for final orders after the settlement of an FPA.  The settlement provided that the applicant's costs of $66K and the respondent's costs of $70K be paid from the estate.  Her Honour granted final orders, but in relation to costs, thought they were excessive (the estate was only $213K, … Continue reading Solicitors beware – Cost capping in FPA

Reasons published in statutory will case

Applegarth J has published his reasons in a statutory will case that was heard over three days in August. A summary of the decision was published by Rebecca Treston QC recently, see the summary here. The costs decision will be an interesting one. Read Re APB here.

Whose will is it anyway? Court of Appeal considers rectification power

The Qld Ct of Appeal today handed down judgment in a rectification case.  I appeared for the appellant.  This is the first time an appellate court in Australia has considered the new, broader powers of rectification of wills (introduced in Qld in 2006). The testator and her partner told their solicitor they each wanted the … Continue reading Whose will is it anyway? Court of Appeal considers rectification power

Sibling wars

Mullins J recently dismissed an application to remove an executor in circumstances where the two beneficiaries were brother and sister, the brother being the executor of their mother's estate.  The brother and sister were very much estranged. There were some delays in the administration of the estate, some of which were caused by the applicant … Continue reading Sibling wars

Court of appeal overturns FPA dismissal

In a judgment handed down this morning, the Qld Court of Appeal overturned a decision of Martin J from last year, where he dismissed an application to extend the time for bringing an FPA. Gotterson JA said (at [63]): In my view, the appellant has advanced an arguable claim for further provision out of the deceased’s estate. … Continue reading Court of appeal overturns FPA dismissal

Forfeiture, family provision and costs

The deceased’s son was found responsible for the killing of his parents but was not found guilty of murder by reason of mental impairment. The estates were left in equal shares to the son and daughter. The granddaughter (daughter of the son) applied for approval of a compromise of two family provision applications. The compromise … Continue reading Forfeiture, family provision and costs

A win for the charities!

In a FPA judgment handed down 3 weeks ago a District Court Judge awarded significant sums to two applicants, but proposed to take the costs of the entire action out of the share of only one of the beneficiaries (who was a charity, and unrepresented at trial).  I acted for the charity in making submissions against that.  … Continue reading A win for the charities!