Family Court extends the meaning of property in recent case

9 November 2023

In 2008 the High Court published its judgment in Kennon v Spry, which addressed the concept of rights in a discretionary trust as "property" under s79 of the Family Law Act.

In 2022 the the Family Court revisited the issue in Woodcock v Woodcock [2022] FedCFam1F 173 in a trial of a preliminary issue as to whether the husband's rights under intergenerational family discretionary trusts created in the 1930s were property within the meaning of s79 of the Act. The Woodcock decision represents a further extension of the meaning of property in relation to the bare rights of a beneficiary under a discretionary trust.

Farid Assaf SC
has published an article on the decision in the Law Society Journal which includes an analysis of the implications for practitioners.

The article can be accessed here.