Court or Tribunal: 
Catchwords: Estate Planning, Estoppel by Conduct, Family Provision, Family Provision, Family Trust, Family Trust, High Value Estates, Large Estate, Requirement of Adequate Maintenance, Succession, Succession, Wills
Judges:  Martin J


Background: Steven Darveniza, the eldest son of Bojan Darveniza, took his father’s widow to the Supreme Court to get a share of the estate, claiming he had worked for his father for many years. Bojan Darveniza died in 2010, aged 78, leaving most of his estate to his second wife, Xiao Hong Darveniza, now known as Jane, who was 30 years younger than him. Multi-millionaire Bojan Darveniza was a hardworking, astute investor with a talent for turning run-down properties into rental goldmines, amassing a fortune. But to his older children, Bojan was a tyrant who ruled them with an iron rod, making them work hard in the family business after school and on weekends. Bojan had eight children – Steven and Tania with first wife Lindsay; Natasha, Jonathon and Andrea with his ex-housekeeper de fact 
 
  [Legal Issue]This case involves an examination of the familial and financial relationships of the Darveniza family. Steven Darveniza has brought two matters before the Court. In the first he seeks an order for provision (pursuant to s 41 of the Succession Act 1981) from the estate of his deceased father, Bojan Darveniza (“the provision claim”). In the second, he seeks declarations about, and transfers of interests in, a number of family companies (“the trust claim”). He also seeks damages pursuant to s 82 of the Trade Practices Act 1974 and consequential orders (“the company claim”).    [Court Orders]Bojan’s personal estate was worth $40 million at the time of his death, but the net value was now between $26 and $28 million, the court heard. Justice Martin said Steven deserved better provision from his father’s very large estate because he had worked long and hard for Bojan, contributing to the growth of his property interests. Two reasons for his father not providing for him in his will were misconceived or based on a misunderstanding, the judge said. He also accepted Steven co     


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Court or Tribunal: 
Catchwords: Domestic relationship, Estate Planning, Failure of testatrix to make provision, Family Provision, Requirement of Adequate Maintenance, Succession
Judges:  Gzell J


Background: This case considered the issue of family provisions and whether or not a young student who was living in a domestic relationship with an elderly woman was entitled to claim against the estate. Michael Ye, the plaintiff, came to Australia from China to study. Frances Lan Fong Fung (the deceased) was separated from her husband, and invited Mr Ye to move into her unit where he lived in a non-sexual relationship with her. She was 37 years his senior. Frances Lan Fong Fung died on 21 June 2001. In her Will, Frances Lan Fong Fung made no provision for Mr Ye. Mr Ye made a claim against the estate, claiming that he was entitled to a certain sum because he had formed a domestic relationship with the deceased. 
 
  [Legal Issue]Richard Neil, a solicitor and member of NSW Law Society's elder law and succession committee, said the judge was carrying out changes made by State Parliament in 1999 to the Property (Relationships) Act, which introduced the definition of domestic relationships. He said while the case of the boarder was one that "doesn't arise terribly frequently", it was a warning to elderly people who shared their home and were "getting in-kind domestic help that they can't afford". He said while a paying boarder would not normally have a claim, if the elderly person had concealed those payments in order to continue their pension entitlement, the estate was vulnerable. And if someone took in a friend who was down on their luck, and died while the person was living rent-free with them, their estates   [Court Orders]Boarder Michael Ye was awarded $425,000, and forgiven a $22,000 debt he owed Frances Lan Fong Fung, who had taken the Chinese student into her home in 1990. Until Ms Fung's death in 2001, Mr Ye lived in the second bedroom and paid no board.     


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Court or Tribunal: 
Catchwords: De Facto Relationship, De Facto Relationships, Domestic Partner Declaration, Domestic relationship, Estate Planning, Failure of testatrix to make provision, Family Provision, Intestate, Substantial Relationship, Succession, Succession, Wills
Judges:  Gzell J


Background: This case considered the issue of family provisions and whether or not a young student who was living in a domestic relationship with an elderly woman was entitled to claim against the estate. Michael Ye, the plaintiff, came to Australia from China to study. Frances Lan Fong Fung (the deceased) was separated (but not divorced) from her husband, and invited Mr Ye to move into her unit where he lived in a non-sexual relationship with her. She was 37 years his senior. Frances Lan Fong Fung died on 21 June 2001. In her Will, Frances Lan Fong Fung made no provision for Mr Ye. Mr Ye made a claim against the estate, claiming that he was in a non-sexual de facto relationship with the deceased. 
 
  [Legal Issue]It was submitted that de facto is to be contrasted with de jure and the relationship determined by reference to the facts rather than a relationship between parties recognised at law. But that approach fails to give due regard to the requirement that the individuals in question live together as a couple. It was submitted that the word “couple” was one of wide import and required only that there be two unmarried adults. But the definition specifically requires two adult persons who are not married or related by family. To construe the word “couple” in that general sense, adds nothing further to the definition and renders the Property (Relationships) Act 1984, s 4(1)(a) otiose. It was submitted that the difference in age of 37 years was not, of itself, significant. The parties    [Court Orders]The Court found that Mr Ye was not the de facto spouse of the deceased within the meaning of the Wills, Probate and Administration Act 1898, s 32G. As such, the plaintiff, Mr Ye, could not claim any relief against her estate on this basis. However, in separate but related proceedings, the plaintiff also claimed to be in a domestic relationship to the deceased, having considered her to be his "honorary auntie". These related proceedings were held subsequently to this hearing, and would be      


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