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Ask Deborah Awyzio Your Own Question
Deborah Awyzio
Deborah Awyzio, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 863
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (QUT), BIT (QUT), Family Law Accredited Specialist, over 12 years experience
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My father recently passed away. I was s power of attorney

Customer Question

Hello, my father recently passed away. I was his power of attorney financially, medically and guardianship. In his will he provided $200,000 to his de facto and the remaining 1.5 million is to be left between my brother and myself with 150,000 out of that amount to his grandchildren. His de facto is a spiteful woman who has been married before to a much older ex veteran. Upon his passing she inherited his entire estate including his home over his 4 biological children. She also has a full war widows pension for life. The home she shared with my Father was in our family for more than 80 years and using my POA I sold it to raise the funds needed for his aged care bond. She is contesting his will and has said she wants more than 50% of his estate. Will she have a solid case and might she receive more than what my Father has stipulated in his will?
JA: Since estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Victoria
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: Yes, the de facto placed a caveat in his house and the 1.5 million recieved from the sale is being held by my lawyer. We were going to make her an offer but my dad passed before it could be put to her lawyers
JA: What advice did they give you?
Customer: That my brother and I will be looking at a lengthy and expensive court proceedings
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: I believe we have provide all information. My worry is if we go through a long and arduous battle and she still recieved a huge settlement, will all the worry and angst be worth it? I have young children and don't need that kind of stress in my life. I know my Dad wanted me to benefit from his will but what are her chances?
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Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Leon replied 5 months ago.

Good Afternoon

My name is ***** ***** I am a NSW Solicitor. Thank you for your question, and will do my best to assist you with your question. Please understand this is not legal advise Please understand this is not legal advise but a guide to assist you.

I am sorry to her about your loss.

It is hard to say but based on what her assets are the court will make a decision.

The other issue is the length of time they were together.

She is entitled to a share but the court will decide based on her financial position. You cannot use the POA anymore. If you are the executor of the will then you have to obtain probate and you will then be appointed and your role is to protect the estate as per the will.

You will need to have a solicitor assist you in this as the court process is not easy and before the matter is set down for hearing you will have to go to mediation.

The money you raised on the house to pay his bond will have to be paid back and the sooner the better. If the house has to be sold to do that then the caveat will have to be removed and the funds placed in trust

Do you have a lawyer?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I am not the executer of his will. I never got the chance to pay the bond as settlement had not taken place when he passed. My main concern is that the amount of$200,000 dad has left her would be dramatically increased. She is Fillipno and has sent most of her assets overseas during the course of their relationship. They were together for 11 years. It was my Fathers property for many years before he even met her.
Expert:  Leon replied 5 months ago.

Good Afternoon

I cannot say if it will be increased that will be up to the court.

If she has enough to love on and is self sufficient and does not need assistance the court may say that she is getting enough.

I understand that it was his property but you have mentioned she has a pension that she is receiving from a former husband and also assets of her own. This is very important in any decision by the court.

The executors role is to make sure the will is honoured.