Case Studies

Fighting families diminish value of estate in court

In the recent decision of Hoskin [2016] QSC 31, the Queensland Supreme Court was faced with the unique task of determining the proper distribution of the estate of a person whose identity could not be confirmed.

Phyllis Hoskin died in 2009. She had no spouse or children and did not leave a Will. The Public Trustee was appointed as the administrator of her estate and had the task of distributing her $1.2 million assets to her next of kin, in accordance with the rules of intestacy.

Court confirms requirement to establish financial need in family provision applications

The recent Queensland Court of Appeal decision of Abrahams v Abrahams [2015] QCA 286 has highlighted the uncertainty and difficulties for an applicant when making an application for further provision against a deceased estate.

In Abrahams, a claim for further provision was made in the District Court by the Public Trustee on behalf of the deceased’s disabled son (“the Son”), who had severe down syndrome and had not been left any gift in his father’s Will.

The contest between the Corporations Act and the various tax acts

Two recent court decisions have highlighted the potential for inconsistency between the provisions of the Corporations Act 2001 and the various taxation acts (including the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936, the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 and the Taxation Administration Act 1953). It is important that practitioners are alive to this issue, particularly when considering suing the Commissioner or dealing with the Commissioner during the course of an administration.

Debits by the Commissioner – unfair preference payments?

When will a bankruptcy court go behind a judgment?

Grass v Bradley Allen Love Lawyers [2015] FCCA 2422

The recent Federal Circuit Court decision in Grass v Bradley Allen Love Lawyers [2015] FCCA 2422 considered the circumstances in which a court will go behind a judgment and whether a bankruptcy notice should be set aside if the court does go behind the judgment.  

 In this case the applicant, Mr Grass brought an application to set aside a bankruptcy notice that had been served on him by the respondent, being his former solicitors.

A day late, a cent short. How strict is the requirement to comply with a bankruptcy notice?

The Federal Circuit Court of Australia was recently asked to consider whether short payment of the amount claimed in a bankruptcy notice of $0.01 was enough to constitute a failure to comply with the notice. This was in the context of whether a sequestration order ought to be made against the respondent on grounds that she committed an act of bankruptcy by failing to comply with the notice.

The pool, friend or foe?

Case: Miller v Lithgow City Council [2014]  NSW SC 1579

Judgment was given in the Supreme Court of New South Wales late last year in a tragic case involving an experienced but young swimmer who became a tetraplegic after diving into the shallow end of the Lithgow swimming pool.


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