Dispute over Bob Hawke Estate Continues to Develop

Published 27 Mar 2020

A lawsuit filed by the youngest daughter of Bob Hawke continues to play out in court and has impacted the late Labour Prime Minister's legacy.

The suit claims that the $750,000 inheritance provided to Hawke's daughter, Rosslyn Dillon, is not enough to support her financial needs. It also alleges that Hawke prevented his daughter from reporting a rape because her rapist was an important political figure. Dillon is seeking $4 million dollars of the estate.

An even split

Dillon is the youngest of Hawke's three children with his first wife. Hawke's stepson, the biological son of his second wife Blanche d'Alpuget, was also included in the Will. The four children were each left with an equal share of the estate.

Dillon's suit claims that the amount is insufficient. Dillon had struggled with drug and alcohol abuse for much of her life and needed extra financial care as a result, according to the suit.

An affidavit submitted by Dillon to the New South Wales Supreme Court also alleges that her father begged her not to report a rape to authorities because it would have been hard for him politically. Hawke was running for a position in the Labour Party leadership at the time of the assault. The accused rapist, a party leader in Victoria, passed away in 2019.

Family drama

While each of Hawke's children are receiving an even split of inheritance, the vast majority of the estate remains controlled by the former prime minister's widow, including two pieces of property with a combined evaluation totaling almost $14 million. Lawyers on the case believe that the Hawke estate may total in at over $18 million. d'Alpuget, prior to marrying Hawke, was his longtime mistress. As a result, relations between her and her three stepchildren are tense.

Bob Hawke was Prime Minister of Australia from 1983 to 1991. He is the longest-serving Labour Prime Minister in Australia's history. He passed away in May 2019 at the age of 89.

The legal dispute surrounding his estate has garnered massive amounts of media attention across the country. Current members of the Labour Party have largely been quiet on the matter, according to the Financial Review, but with the matter returning to court in April, their silence may not be a sustainable stance for long.

While most cases of contested wills aren't fought in the public eye like that of the Hawke family, they will nevertheless be extremely emotionally trying. Whether contesting or challenging a Will, Gerard Malouf and Partners is here to guide you through each step of the process and get you the payment that you deserve. They treat every case with sensitivity and care. Get in touch today.

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