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Nicole’s story: why you need a formal Will

5 minute read

Wills and estates

Nicole Rosmalen was almost denied her share of her partner’s $700,000 estate, left to her in a note before he tragically took his own life. Now, five years later, Shine Lawyers’ Wills & Estates Associate Rebecca O’Toole is fighting for Nicole’s partner’s wishes to be carried out.

In 2015, Nicole Rosmalen went through the unthinkable when her partner Craig MacQueen devastatingly took his own life.

Before his death, Craig wrote a note requesting his possessions be split between his parents and his partner, Nicole.

Nicole was promised a portion of the $700,000 estate by Craig’s parents. However, she later discovered that she had been cut out of proceedings and was to receive nothing.

Nicole endured periods of homelessness in the following years, living in cars, women’s shelters and on friend’s couches.

“When I look back at that note, I believe Craig's intentions were only good and to make sure I was looked after,” Nicole says. “But not having a formal Will has meant I had to take it to court, and with all that there's been so much conflict with the extended family that it's been almost too much to bear.”

Shine Lawyers’ Rebecca O’Toole says Nicole’s case is a “tragic reminder” of the importance of ensuring your will is up-to-date but also in obtaining legal advice early and not trusting others to protect your interests.

“This has truly been a heart-breaking and worst-case scenario for Nicole and her daughter.”

“When these types of documents come before the court, the process can be a lengthy one that further exacerbates the grief and anguish being faced by the loved ones of the deceased.”

Last month, Nicole and Rebecca cleared a major hurdle in Nicole’s case, with the Court accepting the note was the last Will of Craig.

“Now that we have stepped in, we will fight without compromise to make sure Nicole receives a fair share in her partner’s estate, as was the intended wishes Craig so diligently put down on paper in his last moments,” Rebecca says.

This case was recently covered in the Daily Mail and the Courier Mail.

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