A man who died in an air crash was survived by his wife, from whom he was separated but not divorced, and by a partner in a recent de-facto relationship

The man had made his Will several years before his death, and his separated wife was still the executor. His will left his whole estate to her, on a verbal agreement that she would hold it on trust for their teenage son.

Shortly after making his Will, the man began the de-facto relationship. The bulk of his estate was a half interest in his home, which he owned jointly with his de-facto partner. This partner claimed the whole of the estate including his half of their home.

Turner Freeman defended the separated wife against the claim. We argued the de-facto partner did not have sufficient need for the estate to provide for her, that she had the funds to buy the deceased man’s half of their home at market value, and that the son was an “eligible person” to inherit it. The Court of Appeal agreed, overturning an earlier judgment and dismissing the de facto partner’s claim.

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Since 1952 Turner Freeman Lawyers have been fighting to protect the rights of individuals and to make sure they get the compensation they deserve.

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