Family provision applications streamlined

Chief Justice Bowskill has made amendments to Supreme Court Practice Directions 18 of 2018; 9 of 2023; and 14 of 2023. The effect of these practice directions, combined with the repeal of PD 8 of 2001 is the conduct of family provision claims in Queensland will be managed more closely by the court.

Amended Practice Direction 14 of 2023

While PD 14 of 2023 creates the Wills and Estates List (which only applies to proceedings conducted at the Brisbane Registry), the amendments to the practice direction starting at paragraph 31 apply to family provision applications in all Supreme Court registries.

When commencing a family provision application, the solicitor for the applicant must file:

  • an affidavit by the applicant identifying the provision sought and the basis of the applicant’s entitlement; and
  • an affidavit by the solicitor as to costs and disbursements (calculated on both the standard and indemnity basis) up to and including completing mediation.

The matter will then be listed for a directions hearing to be held within 28 days of the filing date.

The directions hearing will be de-listed if the parties provide a draft consent order agreeing on the directions for the conduct of the proceeding.


In the absence of agreement about the terms of the consent order, the parties must provide each other with their proposed directions by 4pm on the day before the directions hearing. The Practice Direction lists a number of things that the court will make directions about at this hearing, including that the parties may be directed to conduct a mediation at the earliest practical time.

If the matter is not resolved at mediation, the parties may request the matter be listed on the Wills and Estates List (if in the Brisbane registry) or list the application on the appropriate Applications List (for all other registries) for further directions. At this directions hearing, the court will make directions about trial plans, statements of agreed facts, chronologies, list of facts and issues in dispute and not in dispute.

The practice direction also contains directions about producing evidence of value of estate assets and disabilities of the applicant or any beneficiary.

Amended Practice Directions 18 of 2018 and 9 of 2023

PDs 8 of 2018 and 9 of 2023 will be familiar to civil litigators, and practitioners who practice in the succession space must now familiarise themselves with the existing case management system in Queensland.

Under PD 18 of 2018, parties to a family provision application will be required to:

  • create a document management plan;
  • develop a list of issues in dispute and not in contention; and
  • develop a trial plan.

Under these amended practice directions, the Resolution Registrar has the power to hear and give directions for case flow conference. Parties are also encouraged to make use of the Resolution Registrar to resolve matters quickly and informally at case conferences.

This article was written by Nathan Rutherford, a member of the QLS Succession Law Committee.

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