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The increasing complexity of families continues to have ramifications for wills and estates law, particularly in answering the question about who can make a claim on a parent’s estate. In the United States, the Matter of the Estate of Douglas Castellano and the Parentage of Gregory Bock, dealt with paternity issues, divorce, adoption and dying without a will. In this case, a woman, Elisa, ended a two year relationship with her partner, Douglas, and…
A 65-year-old woman faces joining her older brother behind bars after they stubbornly refused to obey family court orders in a vicious £9.4 million divorce row. Property tycoon John Hart, 83, was locked up for failing to co-operate with his ex-wife following their split. A judge, describing the case as “ridiculous”, has now imposed a three-month jail term on Mr Hart’s sister Susan Byrne. Judge Stephen Wildblood said Ms Byrne had acted out of “misplaced loyalty”…
A new study has revealed that Australians are relying on an inheritance and are already working out how they will spend it. About 29 per cent of Australians concede they are expecting an inheritance and they intend to spend some or all of it once payday arrives. The figures released by debt solutions agency Fox Symes reveal that 17 per cent of those hoping for a handout once a family member dies will use it to…
The Queensland police officer who leaked the personal details of a domestic violence victim has declined to answer questions about his actions at a tribunal hearing, invoking his privilege against self-incrimination. The tribunal accepts as fact that senior constable Neil Punchard accessed the personal details of a woman, known as Julie, and sent them to her violent former husband. Julie is seeking compensation for breach of privacy in the Queensland civil and administrative tribunal (QCAT).…
Does living together before marriage increase your risk of divorce? This association had been clear in study after study up to around 2007, and then a number of studies and social scientists declared that the association between living together before marriage and difficulties in marriage had disappeared. So which is it? Most experts say that the correlation between the two became better understood in recent years. For example, an important part of the story had…
Elder abuse is a problem that occurs in most socio-economic groups in Western countries around the world. One man with very personal experience in this area is Philip Marshall, grandson of the late New York City philanthropist Brooke Astor. In 2006, Marshall took legal action against his father, Anthony Marshall, accusing him, among other things, of illegally scheming to take control of Astor’s $100 million fortune. At the time, she suffered from the effects of…
Homicidal violence within families is a “poorly understood” aspect of domestic violence and is under-reported in Queensland, according to a new report. The Domestic and Family Violence Death Review and Advisory Board’s annual report, tabled in Queensland Parliament late last week, closely examined 20 cases of domestic and family violence deaths involving 30 victims. Since July 2006, nearly 300 people have been murdered in domestic and family violence circumstances, of which 80 per cent…
A son who inherited a “mere £1.6m” from his wealthy father launched an estate battle with his siblings over the rest of their parents’ £10m fortune, claiming that the fact that he and his siblings had all received an equal inheritance was unfair. Gary McDonald claimed his work on his parents’ farmland meant he should have pocketed the bulk of the cash, which was split equally between him and his five siblings. A court heard their father…
Being separated under one roof may be the latest divorce trend, in which couples agree to separate but continue living together in the main residence. Most of the time, this choice is made because maintaining two houses is expensive, and because the couple wants to co-parent the children with minimal disruption. Common reasons to choose separation under one roof include: Young children still living at home. None of the spouses want to move into apartments…
Should a man who killed his parents be able to inherit their estate? In December 2014, Scott Settree got into an argument with his parents Ian and Margaret over a bottle of wine. They wanted him to replace one he’d drunk without asking. The 46-year-old became enraged, and shot both of his parents dead in the home he shared with them in Cobar, in north-west NSW. Two years later, Mr Settree was found not guilty due…