Elder Law & Succession

Rebecca Cheers – Lion & Lamb Law
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Appointment of dividend

By her last will Vivienne Ross gave her shares and other interests in any companies to Hopi Markin. At her death in April 2017 she owned shares in Mia Rosart Pty Ltd. In August 2017 that company declared a dividend totaling $3 million with Ross’s portion being $1.5 million.

The first issue in Markin v Animals Australia Foundation [2020] VSC 113 (Moore J) was whether the dividend was payable to Markin or the residual beneficiaries of Ross’ estate. The Court applied the general principle that the gift of shares carries with it all dividends paid on those shares from the date of death (at [39]).

Another issue then arose, namely whether the dividend accrued on a daily basis during the year ending 30 June 2017. If so, Markin’s share of the dividend was from the date of death to 30 June, rather than the whole dividend.

The Court decided on the facts that there was no apportionment of the dividend, meaning that Markin was entitled to all of it.

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