Her father re-married. Her father had a property settlement with his first wife who brought up and maintained custody of their two daughters until they left home.
The father re-married and twenty five years later, he died suddenly.
He left a Will leaving everything to his second wife and if she died before him, then to his daughters, but the entirety of his assets were jointly owned with his second wife as joint tenants, and so the will was effectively inoperative, as those assets passed to her as his survivor.
Our client had maintained contact with her father on an irregular basis from the time when she left home at the age of 18. She lived many years out of Australia and struck up more contact with her father after email became a regular way of keeping in contact. Her visits to Australia were rare.
At the time of her father’s death, she had very little in the way of assets herself.
She made an application against the second wife for a family provision order.
After some difficulties, but well before trial, the matter was resolved satisfactorily with a payment to our client.
The situation in this case is not an uncommon one.