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VIC Mother's De Facto Relationship - What is She Entitled to?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Paul Campisi, 26 September 2015.

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  1. Paul Campisi

    Paul Campisi Member

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    I would like to understand what my mother's entitlements are in relation to her "union" with her partner ( de facto relationship).

    Some background

    My mother is 72 years of age and her partner is about 80 years of age. They are both retired. My mother is living off the pension and her partner appears to be well off with investments properties and incomes. They have been living together for 18 months in his home. My mother was renting and sold or gave away some of her belongings (furniture and other goods) to move in with him. He placed a lot of pressure on her at that time to make the decision to move in and they seemed happy together for a while however lately he has been pressuring my mother to sign a legal document which would entitle her to some annuity income (about $5,000 per annum) and a small property (one of his investment properties) after he passes away.

    My mother has received legal advice not to sign as it is not in her best interests. However my mother's partner is putting increasing pressure on her to sign saying that he is getting old and he is afraid she might not be entitled to receive anything from his estate after he passes away unless she signs. I think he is simply trying to limit how much she is entitled to when he passes away knowing it is much more than he is willing to offer her.
     
  2. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Ok so a short relationship means that IF they separated she would not get anything. If HE died then his will would determine how his assets were divided. Maybe she should ask him to choose his wishes and have that expressed in his will. My concern would be that he could have a will that contradicts the 'legal document' that your mum is being asked to sign.

    IF she has lived with this guy for 18 months and he is giving her an apartment then take it. Not bad for someone who was renting prior to meeting this chap.... True?
     
  3. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    If he has assets, and he means to look after her when he dies,
    then let him make his will accordingly.

    And, going only by what you have told us here
    (missing facts missing and unknown ifs, buts, and maybes not allowed for),
    my gut says that the legal advice she got - that is, not to sign stuff - was good advice.

    This is also probably a good time to sit down with her and sort out
    her own Will, Power of Attorney, and Enduring Guardianship.
    Another trip to a solicitor may be prudent, to look after her.
     
  4. Paul Campisi

    Paul Campisi Member

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    Hello Sammy,

    Thanks for your prompt reply. I agree - what he is offering is better than nothing but why not do it via his will as you have suggested? Also does the situation change over the course of time (ie. relationship continues for another 2 or 3 years)?

    Thanks
     

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