Weekly Snapshot Issue: 51 – 25 October 2019

Case we’re reviewing…

What’s the Court to do when a parent essentially “writes out” a child or dependent from their Will?

The answer will differ greatly from case to case, depending on the following:

  • Need of the plaintiff;
  • The dynamics of the relationship between the plaintiff and deceased;
  • The moral obligation of the deceased to provide adequate provision for their dependants;
  • The court’s obligation to uphold the deceased’s freedom to testamentary disposition and;
  • The policy interest of freeing the public purse from having to otherwise provide for a dependant who could have adequately inherited from the deceased.

These matters were recently discussed in the NSW Supreme Court case of Stejskal v Hely & Ors whereby a son was successful in a family provision claim against his fathers’ estate.

This serves as a reminder for practitioners that their obligations when drafting wills goes beyond documenting their clients’ testamentary wishes but also to provide proper advice with respect to safeguarding the estate from future family provision claims.

App we’re loving…

Apps that monitor your phone usage seems inbuilt into Apple phones; but those loyal to Android don’t need to despair. A quick search on the Play Store will list a plethora of similar Apps dedicated to monitoring how much time you spend on your phone. The Apps will also have fun challenges; like the “2 Hour WhatsApp Fast” Challenge. Get ready for a shocking reveal on your phone usage habits – but perhaps it’s just what’s needed to break the addiction.

Poem we’re feeling…

FEAR
Khalil Gibran

It is said that before entering the sea
a river trembles with fear.

She looks back at the path she has travelled,
from the peaks of the mountains,
the long winding road crossing forests and villages.

And in front of her,
she sees an ocean so vast,
that to enter
there seems nothing more than to disappear forever.

But there is no other way.
The river cannot go back.

Nobody can go back.
To go back is impossible in existence.

The river needs to take the risk
of entering the ocean
because only then will fear disappear,
because that’s where the river will know
it’s not about disappearing into the ocean,
but of becoming the ocean.

Book review…

“Between a Wolf and a Dog” by Georgia Blain is one of those books that leaves a subtle mark on you… it’s hard to say whether it’s the melancholic rawness of the characters or the evocative language used to describe the setting. Somehow though you are feel like you’ve lived intimately with the characters and observed them first hand.

Each chapter is from the perspective of a family member dealing with their own separate but inevitably interlinked issues. The main character, Esther, is a family therapist and deals with a catalogue of middle class clients; each presenting with the usual anxieties around loneliness, relationships and death. Needless to say; it is precisely those anxieties that are grabbled with by the family members themselves.

Despite the subject matter; the book is hardly depressing but a celebration of art, our capacity to live with ordinary sorrow and the surprising turns of life.

Masters of Success…


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