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Family Provision Claim

Vaughan v Curran [2019] NSWSC 1562
Supreme Court of New South Wales
Emmett AJA
Wills and estates – succession – family provision.

The full case is available here;  https://www.caselaw.nsw.gov.au/decision/5dc4c1e4e4b0c3247d712d8f

Two proceedings were commenced where the plaintiffs sought provision from the deceased’s estate.  The plaintiff in one proceeding was the daughter of the deceased.  The plaintiff in the other proceedings were sisters and granddaughters of deceased.  The Court considered the following factors – ‘sufficient cause’ – ‘factors warranting’ the applications and ‘special circumstances’.  The Court held that they were satisfied that adequate provision was not made for the plaintiffs and the plaintiffs were each to receive lump sum from deceased’s notional estate.  These orders were made by consent.

From the decision of the Court;

  1. “The plaintiffs in these two proceedings sought family provision orders under Ch 3 of the Succession Act 2006 (NSW) (the Succession Act) in respect of the estate of the late Norma Curran (the Deceased), who died on 5 February 2016. The plaintiff in the first proceedings, Ms Lurrain Vaughan, is a daughter of the Deceased. The plaintiffs in the second proceedings, Ms Fallon O’Brien and Ms Sarah Micallef, are sisters. They are daughters of Ms Vaughan and are therefore granddaughters of the Deceased.
  2. The defendants in both proceedings were Allen Curran, Edward Curran and Jennifer Westland, each of whom is a child of the Deceased and, accordingly, a sibling of Ms Vaughan. The proceedings were listed for hearing concurrently and an order was made that evidence in one proceeding be evidence in the other. The proceedings brought by Ms Vaughan were settled after the first day of the hearing on the basis of the orders set out in Appendix 1. The hearing of the proceedings brought by Ms O’Brien and Ms Micallef was completed on the second day fixed for hearing, but were subsequently also settled, on the basis of the orders set out in Appendix 2. The following are my reasons for making those orders by consent. For convenience, I shall refer to the parties by their first names.
  3. By her will dated 25 March 1991 (the Will), the Deceased, relevantly, appointed Edward and Allen to be executors and trustees of her will and gave, devised and bequeathed all of her real and personal property whatsoever and wheresoever unto her trustees upon trust to sell, call in and convert into money such part or parts of the estate as should not consist of money and to stand possessed of the net proceeds of such sale calling in and conversion upon trust for such of Edward, Allen and Jennifer as should survive the Deceased, and if more than one, in equal shares absolutely. On 28 June 2016, probate of the will was granted to Allen and Edward.”