Deceased estate case and litigation involving De Facto relationship

“Mary” lived in a de facto relationship with “Joseph” for nearly 10 years before he died in tragic circumstances. Joseph’s will was made 20 years previously, when married to “Elizabeth”, from whom he never divorced. John’s estate was left to his wife and children. No provision had been made for his de facto partner, Mary.

After John’s death, ownership of John’s and Mary’s combined holdings was challenged and a prolonged, unpleasant fight broke out at the Equity Court Division of the Sydney Supreme Court.

The circumstances
Before meeting Mary, his de facto wife, John had been declared a bankrupt. At that time he had no assets. Together, John and Mary built up and co-owned substantial assets including two homes and a block of holiday apartments.

The local advantage – using a local solicitor you can trust
Mary found herself a reputable and highly qualified local solicitor practicing in Lismore. He guided Mary through the myriad of challenges over the duration of the ensuing battle with the ex-wife and the executor of the estate over the proper division of the estate.

Even though the actual legal battle occurred in Sydney, all the preliminary work between Mary and her solicitor took place in Lismore, close to her and where she could easily see her lawyer.

It was of significant benefit to Mary, who was able to discuss relevant matters regularly and in person with her solicitor on an almost daily basis over the period of the dispute – which lasted for nearly three years.

”Being on the ground and able to maintain close personal contact with the client made all the difference to her,” the solicitor explained. “It would have caused her considerably greater distress and significant added cost to deal with a Sydney firm for the duration of the dispute.”

An experienced property and commercial lawyer, with three decades of experience in litigation with a commercial bias proved the client’s choice of a local solicitor was well made.

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