Settlement: second wife vs child from first marriage

Published 28 May 2013

Author: David Cossalter

When a widow is a main beneficiary of an estate, most firms will shy away from claims, even when those claims are brought by children of the deceased’s first marriage. We at GMP Contesting Wills Lawyers do not share this same opinion.

We will take on cases, where other firms do not. This case, is one such example.

We represented a daughter of the deceased from the first marriage. Following the separation from our client’s mother the deceased remarried and, upon his passing, left the majority of his assets to the second wife, with only $10,000.00 being left to his daughter. The deceased left an estate which had an estimated value of $400,000.00.

During the marriage the deceased had purchased, from the second wife, an equal share in a home she already owned outright. This share was purchased by utilising funds received from our client’s grandparents.

We were able to successfully argue that should the second wife receive the full benefit of the deceased’s estate, she would effectively have been paid twice for her own property.

We were able to indentify that the main issue in this case was the lineage of the monies in the estate.

Discussions with the estate progressed and we were able to secure a 50% share of the estate for our client.

This result was achieved prior to a formal Hearing and Mediation. We were able to maintain costs at a minimum. Due to this early resolution, and minimisation in costs, our client received a larger portion of the entitlement to her.

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