Remaining eligible to claim when a relationship ends

Posted on July 4th, 2017

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Relationships can be tricky.  Sometimes a relationship can apparently come to an end but the parties keep seeing each other and remain close.   In a recent case of Wilson v Porada; The Estate of Peter Wolfgang Porada, late of Pericoe [2017] NSWSC 818 a male died leaving no Will.  His only family was his siblings who were due to inherit under intestacy law.   He had complained to friends that his former partner would not get “out of my life“.   

The former partner told the Court that the deceased stayed at her place about three or four times a week and they remained in a relationship until he died.  Whilst the Court accepted that on the balance of the evidence, the parties were no longer in a de facto relationship the Court nevertheless did order that the former partner should receive a gift from the estate.

The Judge found that the deceased had chosen to maintain a civil relationship with his ex de facto partner for the sake of her children and despite the aggravation and anxiety from her persisting with him, he still chose to allow her a place in his life. He consented to her organising social functions with him and having some degree of a life together. Whilst writing a Will would not necessarily have been a complete answer to this claim, it would have helped.

Felicity Wardhaugh, Special Counsel at Mullane & Lindsay Solicitors, NewcastleFelicity Wardhaugh is Special Counsel at Mullane & Lindsay Solicitors and practises extensively in  Wills and estate planning, Commercial dispute resolution and other litigation.  If you require any assistance in these areas please contact Felicity Wardhaugh to arrange a consultation or contact our Newcastle office. 

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