2 Comments Family & de facto law, financial agreements, consent orders
This is quite a complicated area of law. Your father in law died without leaving a will, the legal term for this is that he died intestate. When a person dies intestate, their estate is divided according to the law of the State in which they lived which sets out the list of person entitled to receive a share and the order in which they are entitled. Generally speaking, when a person leaves a spouse and children, the estate is divided between them. When a person leaves behind a spouse and a de facto, as in your father in law's case, generally speaking the spouses share is divided between the spouse and de facto as long as the de facto meets the true definition of a de facto. The provisions vary from State to State.
The first issue will be which State law applies given that your father in law lived in 2 States, this will depend on where he mainly lived and where his assets are. The relevant State law will then determine how his estate is to be divided.
In terms of the entitlement of his girlfriend, this will depend on whether she meets the defination of a de facto.
As regards the land bought by the "in-laws", this will depend on whether this forms part of your father-in law's estateie. is he a joint or sole owner?
Any compensation received following a successful outcome of the legal action would become part of the estate available for distribution. You would need to contact the lawyers acting to seek guidance on whether the action could be assumed by his surviving relatives as plaintiffs.
The issues outlined above are not straightforward and you may wish to consult a lawyer experienced in this field. Aussielegal provided a referral service where we can recommend an experienced lawyer in your area to assist you with these questions. If you wish to take advantage of this service, please visit our website or phone us on 1300 728 200.
Lastly with regard to Centrelink, providing false information to claim a benefit is a criminal offence which could lead to prosecution and a possible prison sentence if convicted depending on the extent of the fraud.
OK - thanks for some help - this is tricky.
As far as I am aware, HE(father in law) lived with HER(currentpartner/girlfriend) in Victoria for more than 2 years, so it looks likethey will be considered de facto.
As far a HIS estate go, he owned a car whic is currently in theposession of HER, a boat which HER gave to HIS son after HIS death. HEalso would part own the land and maybe the house with the WIFE. WhilstHE and HER lived in Victoria the house was in Queensland and soley usedby the WIFE and KIDS.
When he died he had moved from Victoria to Queensland and (consideringpaper work was done) should have been considered to be a permanentresident of Queensland (evev though a short time before his death).
I will definately pass on the referal details to my sister-in-law asshe is taking the responsibility of sorting this out whilst I butt-outand avoid any friction.
Thanks for the reply.