Upon the breakdown of a relationship, parties conclude their financial relationship by way of a property settlement.
In some circumstances though, a property settlement may not preclude a future claim being made upon an estate and one may be required to take extra steps to secure assets.
In the case of Lodin v Lodin; Estate of Dr Mohammad Masoud Lodin  NSWSC 10, a combination of unusual circumstances and enduring impact on the plaintiff made her, at the time of the deceased’s death, a person who ought to have been an object of testamentary recognition by the deceased and thus constitute circumstances warranting the making of her claim.
The circumstances were such that: –
- The plaintiff continued to care for their child after the matrimonial property settlement and for this reason indirectly contributed to the deceased’s estate;
- The plaintiff’s post-divorce circumstances deteriorated whereas the deceased’s greatly improved;
- At the time of property settlement, the matrimonial property was scarce whereas now there was an amplitude of resources available;
- The plaintiff’s current circumstances of need which are in part attributable to her relationship and marriage with the deceased; and
- Where the only other claim on his bounty was that of their child for whom ample assets will remain after making proper provision for the plaintiff.
Irrespective of the fact that property settlement had occurred in 1992 and the parties were divorced in 1995, the Supreme Court of New South Wales ordered that the deceased’s former wife receive $750,000.00 from an estate of $5 million pursuant to a claim for provision pursuant to Chapter 3 Succession Act 2006.
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