Legal Hypothetical – Widower makes massive claim


AFTER a messy divorce, Tina enters into a relationship with Harry.

Tina already has two children, namely Elizabeth and Emma.

Tina and Harry get married and 10 years pass.

Unfortunately, Tina is diagnosed with cancer.

She makes a will leaving her estate to her two children equally and makes arrangements for her superannuation to be paid to Harry.

Tina also grants Harry the right to reside in the matrimonial home, registered in her sole name, for six months after her death.

Harry makes a will leaving his estate to his children.

When Tina passes away, Harry is unhappy about the terms of her will and after six months, refuses to leave the house.

Elizabeth and Emma commence proceedings to have Harry removed and in response, he challenges Tina’s will, claiming that he has not been properly provided for.

The parties are unable to resolve the matter at a mediation and a Supreme Court hearing is conducted.

The Court states that generally, a surviving spouse should be left with sufficient assets to secure accommodation and to have an income sufficient to live in the style in which they are accustomed, together with a fund to meet unforeseen expenses.

However, the Court hears that during their marriage, Tina and Harry maintained separate finances and each strictly paid half of the household’s expenses.

The Court also hears that during Tina’s battle with cancer, her relationship with Harry deteriorated and that Elizabeth and Emma took on the role of caring for Tina.

The Court found it to be relevant that by the time the hearing was conducted, Harry had entered into another relationship and had moved out of the house.

Harry’s $1.5 million claim is ultimately dismissed and he is ordered to pay $300,000 in legal costs.

If YOU would like a particular issue addressed, please email Manny at [email protected] or call him on (02) 6648 7487.


By Manny WOOD, Solicitor

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