Aristocrat denied cut of deceased aunt’s estate

Published 29 Jul 2020

An aristocrat, who believed he was entitled to a substantial portion of his deceased aunt's multi-million dollar estate, has come up empty in his attempt to sue for property he deemed was rightfully his.

As reported by multiple sources, Australia native Lord Andrew Battenberg filed a lawsuit earlier this year in New South Wales Supreme Court, claiming that some of his aunt Minnie Condon's $4 million estate belonged to him as her adopted nephew. However, Harold Lee, Battenberg's stepfather and Condon's brother, brought forward information showing that his deceased sister changed her will and testament in mid-2016, changes that intentionally kept Battenberg – otherwise known as Andrew Lee or Lord Andrew of Craigstown – out of the will, according to the Daily Record. Condon passed away the same year the updates to the will were made.

'No reasonable cause for investigation'

Supreme Court Judge Trish Henry, who presided over the case, said the evidence was compelling enough to corroborate the defendant's statement that Battenberg was not to be included.

"Based on the evidence, it seems to me there was no reasonable cause for investigation or challenge by Mr Battenberg to the 2016 will," Justice Henry explained, as quoted by the Daily Record. Henry further noted that Condon at one point told her neighbour that the reason why she didn't want Battenberg in the will was because he was a "lazy good-for-nothing person that would not work."

Henry ordered the plaintiff to pay for the defendant's court costs, although the exact amount was not stated, The Sunday Post reported.

The 57-year-old Battenberg intends to file an appeal, the proceedings of which are slated to take place in August or September.

Several legal run-ins

This isn't the first time Battenberg has received national attention. He was previously evicted from his Perthshire country mansion for not paying rent. His former chauffeur also sued over claims that Battenburg refused to pay him for his services.

The suit over Condon's estate is a long-simmering one. In 2017, for example, Battenberg produced paperwork that he claimed substantiated his late aunt and adopted mother made an irrevocable agreement as to his portion of her estate, according to The Sunday Post. But the court didn't concur that the agreement was irreversible.

If you're considering contesting a will and wonder whether you have a case, contact us at Gerard Malouf & Partners.

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