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Lambeff v. Farmers Co-operative Executors & Trustees Ltd.

Supreme Court of South Australia
56 S.A.S.R. 323 (1991)


Facts

After George Lambeff separated from his first wife, the mother of his only daughter (the Daughter) (plaintiff), he started a relationship with Barbara Lambeff and they had two children, Nicholas George Lambeff and Christopher Jordan Lambeff (defendants). The Daughter’s mother remarried and the Daughter lived with her mother and step-father until she moved to Melbourne. George did not remain in contact with his daughter and although she periodically attempted to contact him over the years, he did not respond or communicate with her. George died with a will leaving his entire estate to Nicholas and Christopher and excluded the Daughter from his will. She then brought an action to receive part of George’s estate under the Inheritance (Family Provision) Act of 1972 (the Act), claiming that George had left her without adequate provision for her proper advancement in life. Under the Act, the court had discretion to enter an award for a person left without “adequate provision for his proper maintenance, education or advancement in life” by a testamentary disposition. At the time of George’s death, the Daughter was unmarried with no children, was employed as a marketing officer with a salary of $33,000 and owned an apartment worth $120,000 on which she owed a mortgage of $66,000. By contrast, George’s sons, Nicholas and Christopher, did not own real estate, both had two children and few assets and both relied on their father’s caravan park, a major asset of the estate, for the income they used to support their families. The estate was valued at $220,058.87. The question before the court was whether George’s daughter was entitled to an award under the Act.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Matheson, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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