Judge grants mum provisional right to make will for severely disabled son

A judge has granted the mother of a severely disabled 21-year-old man – who has devotedly and lovingly cared for since he received a traumatic and permanent brain injury when he was a baby — with provisional rights to draft a will on his behalf.

Brisbane Supreme Court Justice Helen Bowskill yesterday (Mar 31) ordered that pursuant to Section 21 of the Succession Act 1981 (Qld) a will be made for the man, identifiable only as RD.

Justice Bowskill, in a seven-page written decision, granted the mother’s application to draft her son’s will provided she was appointed by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) as administrator for RD for all his financial matters, except for management of substantial funds RD received in a personal injuries settlement as a result of life-changing, permanent injuries he sustained in a car accident when he was five-months old.

Justice Bowskill noted RD’s mother had a current application before QCAT to be appointed the administrator of her son’s affairs, but a decision has yet to be made.

“RD is a young man, presently aged 21,’’ Justice Bowskill said. “He suffered a severe traumatic brain injury when he was very young, about five months old, as a result of a traffic accident.’’

“(RD) has substantial assets, consequent upon receiving an award of compensation for his injuries, but he has no will.

The court was told RD’s mother applied under the Succession Act 1981 (Qld) for an order authorising a will to be made on behalf of RD.

“I am satisfied on the material before the court (and it was not controversial) that RD lacks testamentary capacity, and is alive,’’ Justice Bowskill said.

“I am also satisfied that (RD’s mother) is the appropriate person to make the application and that adequate steps have been taken to allow representation of other persons with a proper interest in the application, including persons who have reason to expect a gift or benefit from the estate of RD.

“Some of those persons were represented at the hearing (including RD’s father who is now divorced from his mother and his two younger sisters, by a litigation guardian) … (and)  in respect of others (in particular, RD’s older brother) the evidence demonstrates that he is aware of the application, did not wish to attend, and supports the (mother’s) proposed will.”

She said RD appeared by way of a litigation guardian at the hearing of the application.

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