Colleen McCullough died in January, 2015 and was known as one of Australia’s most successful literary writers. The author of the international successful novel The Thorn Birds, published in 1977, had an Estate estimated to be worth millions of dollars at the time of her death.Continue Reading
Family Provision Claims - Mitar vs Mitar
In Mitar v Mitar  NSWSC 647 the deceased, a widow, left behind four children, three daughters and a son, and an Estate valued at approximately $3 million dollars. In his Will the deceased left the whole of his Estate to his eldest daughter and a right to reside in the family house to his son. The deceased made no provision for his other two daughters however his eldest daughter, based on conversations had with the deceased, divided the cash in the Estate between herself and her two sisters of approximately $200,000 each.
The deceased’s son and two younger daughters all made family provision claims to the Court on the basis that the deceased had not made adequate provision for their proper maintenance, education and advancement in life. Making the son’s claim more complicated was his history of schizophrenia.
The three daughters came to a settlement of their claims during the Court proceedings reaching an agreement that two of them would receive 40% of the first $700,000 in the Estate with the third to receive 20% with the balance of the Estate to be divided in three equal shares. All parties sought that the cost of the Court proceedings be paid by the Estate.
The reason behind the settlement was that they believed this would be the amounts they would receive from the Estate in the event that their brother was successful in his family provision claim.
The deceased’s son was seeking an order from the Court that he be gifted the family home valued at approximately $1.9 million dollars.
The Court had to consider all the needs of the siblings when deciding whether to make an order for the deceased’s son to receive the family home. After consideration, the Court found that making such an order would be unfair on the deceased’s other three children.
The Court held that the deceased’s son should receive 30% of the proceeds of sale of the family home, approximately $964,000 and that the daughters receive the percentages they agreed to in their settlement.