$125k on hold – Judge orders deceased man’s money be kept in court
26 November, 2020, 7:00 pm
The High Court in Suva has ordered that $125,293.93 of Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) be kept in court until it was decided which family members of a deceased man qualified for a share.
This, after the court acknowledged the deceased FNPF member had a son from a de facto relationship and added him as a party to the case.
Two sisters, a brother, a niece and four nephews of the deceased had been restrained from accessing the money.
The deceased man’s sister had filled in FNPF forms that outlined which family members would receive the funds.
“The respondent knew very well that her brother had a son at the time she made the application for the distribution of FNPF funds but for reasons best known to her, she did not state this in her application,” Justice Lyone Seneviratne said in his November 23 ruling.
“In Part A of the application, she was required to state the details of the children of the deceased including the children born in de facto relationships. The respondent has left that part of the application empty.” The judge stated “it is now absolutely clear”
that the deceased man’s sister didn’t provide all the information.
“If she provided all necessary information, the respondent would not have been deprived of his right over his father’s estate.
“Whoever is at fault, it has to be corrected, otherwise the applicant will be deprived of his rights to the father’s estate for no fault of his.”
Justice Seneviratne ordered that all FNPF monies of the deceased amounting to $125,293.93 be paid back into court within 30 days and kept in court until the matter was resolved.