Lodin v Lodin; Estate of Dr Mohammad Masoud Lodin [2017] NSWSC 10 is an unusual matter in that the Family Provision Act application in respect of the estate of the deceased was made by a former wife, where the relationship between the wife and the deceased doctor arose in course of a professional doctor/patient relationship.

At [77] the applicant submitted that submitted that it was the deceased’s testamentary obligation to atone for his professional misconduct in engaging in an improper sexual relationship with her, and that – by way of regret and remorse for the psychiatric injury his conduct caused her – this should be reflected in a legacy of $1 million.

At [88] the court noted that the relationship, marriage and its breakdown had a serious impact on the rest of the plaintiff’s life. At [90] the trial judge concluded, awarding a legacy of $750,000:

In my judgment, the combination of the unusual and enduring impact of the relationship and marriage on the plaintiff, her care responsibility for the defendant for 15 years after the matrimonial property settlement and associated indirect contribution to the deceased’s estate, the respective post-divorce deterioration in her circumstances and great improvement in those of the deceased, the relative paucity of the matrimonial estate at the time of the property settlement compared to the amplitude of resources now available, and her 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 testamentary bounty is that of the defendant for whom ample will remain after making proper provision for the plaintiff, amount to circumstances which made the plaintiff, at the time of the deceased’s death, a person who ought to have been an object of testamentary recognition by him, and thus constitute circumstances warranting the making of her claim.

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