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Recent Qld Family Provision Case

The case "Apps v Corbett & Anor [2023] QDC 55" revolves around a family provision claim under the Succession Act 1981 (Qld). The applicant, Melvyn John Apps, sought provision from the estate of his deceased mother, Lurline Yvonne Apps. The estate was valued at just over $1,246,000, primarily consisting of bank accounts and a refundable accommodation deposit. The deceased's will primarily favored her daughter, Shan, with some shares allocated to the applicant and her grandchildren.

Melvyn Apps, 75, is married with three adult children and five grandchildren. He had a career as a diesel fitter but had to retire due to a back injury. His financial situation is modest, relying on a pension and some assets, including a home valued at approximately $700,000. His monthly expenses are around $7,000, and he also provides financial support to his children and grandchildren, some of whom have special needs.

The case also delved into the history of the family, who were initially involved in farming. A partnership was formed in 1965, which included the deceased, her husband, and their two sons. However, the partnership dissolved in 1982 amid family disputes.

In July 2022, Melvyn Apps made a claim for provision out of the estate. Both parties attended mediation in February 2023 and agreed that the applicant would receive $250,000 from the proceeds of the sale of the deceased's former home. The court had to decide whether this provision was adequate.

The court considered various factors, including the applicant's financial position, the size of the estate, and the relationship between the parties. It was noted that the deceased had no intention of depriving the applicant and that he had legitimate financial needs. The court also emphasized that the agreement reached during mediation should be given substantial weight.

In conclusion, the court decided in favor of the draft order, granting Melvyn Apps $250,000 from the net proceeds of the sale of the Maroochy River property. The applicant would bear his own costs, and the respondent’s costs would be paid from the estate. The court highlighted that litigation would only deplete the estate's value and, therefore, the beneficiaries' entitlements.

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