Case Study

Family provision claim from substantial estate including interim orders

by Richard d'Apice AM and Raymon Anderson
19 November 2015
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Client: Benjamin Crispin (Details altered to protect our client's identity)

Issue:

Our client resides in South Australia. He was romantically involved with a wealthy woman from Sydney, Diedre Evans, until Diedre's death. Diedre was more than thirty years Benjamin's senior. Until her death Diedre paid Benjamin a substantial monthly allowance of more than twenty thousand dollars. This was Benjamin's sole income. This income supported Benjamin's lifestyle, including making up the shortfall in Benjamin's unprofitable small business selling antiques.

Benjamin was life tenant of part of Diedre's estate. Diedre's will and her affairs were very complicated. Benjamin is involved in Family Law proceedings in South Australia.

Due to his substantial expenses and the protracted nature of the South Australian litigation, Benjamin required interim provision from Diedre's estate to ensure he was not made bankrupt by his legal fees, combined with the costs associated with his lifestyle and his business.

Our role:

To advise and assist Benjamin in obtaining interim orders for provision in circumstances where there was a risk of Benjamin being made bankrupt.

Solution:

We provided Benjamin with urgent assistance. We succeeded in applying for a release of estate funds by appearing before the Supreme Court of NSW Probate Duty Judge outside of ordinary court hours.

Without the release of these funds Benjamin may not have been able to progress the South Australian litigation and his Family Law rights might have been diminished, or even extinguished. There was also a risk of an adverse costs order being made against Benjamin. Without provision from the estate Benjamin would not have been able to pay any legal costs and could be made bankrupt.

We were successful in securing urgent interim provision from Diedre's estate for Benjamin.