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Failing to comply with paragraph 7.2 of the Testator Family Maintenance List Practice Note SC CL 7 could expose you to a cost order.

he Supreme Court issued a notice on 11 December 2017 informing practitioners that as of 1 March 2018 they were expected to comply with paragraph 7.2 by 2pm on the Friday before the first directions hearing. If you fail to do so the court may adjourn the directions hearing. If you have not addressed the requirements of paragraph 7.2 by the second directions hearing date you may be exposed to a cost order.

Paragraph 7.2 requires that before the first directions hearing, the plaintiff file and serve either a position statement if the estate is worth $500,000 or less or an affidavit if the estate is worth more than $500,000. The plaintiff’s solicitor must also file an affidavit estimating the cost and disbursements on a standard basis up to the completion of the mediation.

The plaintiff’s position statement or affidavit must cover the information set out in schedule one to the practice note including the nature and extent of the estate, the plaintiff’s relationship to the deceased, the major gifts and beneficiaries in the will, and the financial position of the plaintiff and other beneficiaries if known.

Have good systems and process is in place to prepare the required documents well before the first directions hearing and update your checklist to ensure they are filed by the Friday morning before the directions hearing.