Woman attempts to withhold court-ordered judgement to leverage it for superfund access

Date: Jan 17, 2020

An estate case thought to be closed was reopened 3 January 2020 due to a new dispute about a superannuation fund. An informal document, which was alleged by the plaintiffs to constitute the deceased’s last will, was disputed, months after original proceedings at a mediation held on 8 August 2019.

The original case

The parties were both legally represented, and at that time they appeared to accept that the whole estate was comprised of the proceeds of a life insurance policy, worth only about $316,000.

The settlement agreement

It was determined for the defendant to receive a sum of $115,000 within 28 days of the policy funds’ receipt by the estate and one of the plaintiffs to receive the balance of the same. The case was dismissed with the intent that each party pay their own court costs and all prior costs orders would be discharged.

The default

However, the amount of $115,000 was purportedly not paid to the defendant, and no response was received to enquiries made about when it would be paid. The defendant sought an order that payment of the entire life insurance proceeds be made into court, and that the sum of $115,000 from said funds be paid to the defendant as agreed.

The plaintiff did not comply, instead demanding that the defendant provide employment details of the deceased and details of the superannuation details of the deceased – insisting that the decedent had been employed by a company run by the defendant.

The plaintiff’s demands

It was ascertained that life insurance proceeds had been received by the plaintiff on 3 December but had not been paid to the defendant. Rather, they were placed in an interest-bearing deposit. The plaintiff said she should not have to pay the $115,000 until she was provided with the documents concerning employment and superannuation, and sought the Court’s assistance to have the material provided.

The judgement

The court declined to grant any extension to the plaintiff, ordering that they should pay the $115,000 to the defendant immediately – and also cover the defendant’s costs of the notice of motion.

If the superannuation fund had been considered from the outset, there might have been a case for the plaintiff. If you are embroiled in a superannuation dispute, contact the legal experts at Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers for assistance.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.