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Lillian DuRen
Lillian DuRen, Lawyer
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 8
Experience:  B.Ec., M.I.R., LLB
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my defacto partner of 21 years passed away recently and appointed

Customer Question

my defacto partner of 21 years passed away recently and appointed myself and his oldest son as joint executors. During the 21 years i paid half of all household expenses /rates,ins,water,phone and electricity etc. most came out of my bank by direct debit and he gave me a cheque at the end of each month for his half. I maintained the 4 homes we lived in during this time - did all outside mowing,painting etc and also nursed him at home duting his health issues which began 7 years ago.

Briefly: his will provided me with life tenancy in the home but all maintenance and upkeep was at my expense. I am 67 and healthy. Upon my death the house goes to his sons who were not close to him except Steven.

If i sell the home i have to get permission from steven and any profit made also goes to the sons

This will be hard on me as i am a pensioner and would like the house in my name only.

The boys and I will each be receiving approx: $12,000.00 from the estate after expenses

Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Lillian DuRen replied 7 years ago.



Can you tell me which state you are in please?



Customer: replied 7 years ago.
thankyou for prompt reply = I live in New South Wales - Australia
Expert:  Lillian DuRen replied 7 years ago.



Have you considered making a claim under the Family Provision Act. Life tenancies are not considered fair and equitable on the partner left behind after such a long relationship.


You might consider making an appointment with a solicitor who could advise you on your specific circumstances. But my experience with life tenancies is that the Courts are more than willing to overturn these types of bequests, which is not really a bequest at all, but rather a right of residence and you still have to pay for all the maintenance. Then the boys will take the benefit. It is not fair and you should consider seeking the consent of the boys to put the house in your name.


Can I assume that you would leave your estate to the boys or do you have children of your own?


What about all the other properties he owned and you contributed to?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
All other properties were in his name only - I helped in the cosmetic area of making them look a lot better than when we moved in as well as paying half of all household expenses. We had seperate bank accounts and I paid all my own personal accounts re car and health insurance etc . His sons have also had gifts of money and help over the last 20 years and they will also inheriate money from their mothers estate when she passes on which will be all going well about when I do. I just don't want to have to ask steven if I want to sell house later. I will probably not see the other three much again as they did not have much contact with their father. Ps I have always done gardens and mowing etc. His family and our friends will attest to this - Hope this helps. I will be away fora couple of hours. Will check email later tonight. margaret
Expert:  Lillian DuRen replied 7 years ago.



You should seriously speaking with a solicitor about contesting the will. It is unfair that you are restricted like this. What if you need to sell the house later to pay for nursing home care, for example? What your de facto's will means is that if you sell the house, you get nothing. How is that fair?


You would need to give up your role as executor but that would not be difficult. Please seek legal advice. Any legal costs for a family provision claim comes out of the estate so your current financial circumstances do not come into it. Also, the whole estate would need to be considered, so any properties, even if in his name only, form part of his estate. You are entitlted to claim against all of his estate.


I strongly recommend you get legal advice Margaret. It is not right that you should have to worry about how you are going to survive when you have been in a relationship with this person for 21 years and have made contributions to the value of his estate.



Lillian DuRen and other Australia Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
thankyou that is the answere i was hoping for - margaret
Expert:  Lillian DuRen replied 7 years ago.
I'm glad. Please seek advice on your entitlements.

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