Published 14 Aug 2012
Author: David Cossalter
Our client was one of two children of the deceased and was only left 25% of his mother’s estate. The balance of the estate went to his sister and her two children.
The deceased had allowed for such an unequal and unfair division of her estate property as she believed that the main beneficiary had looked after her later on in life. It would seem, and as the evidence had unfolded, that the deceased seemed to have forgotten about all of the assistance and friendship that our client had provided to her earlier on in life and when a geographical distance was no problem.
We advocated such position and put forward that the reasons behind the unequal share in the estate were unfounded and given our client’s financial circumstances and relationship between him and his mother, a greater share should have been given to him. The estate did not agree.
Regardless of this blank denial we emphasised our client’s rights and lodged a formal claim through the Victorian Court system ensuring that documentary and affidavit support was put forward emphasising our client’s assertions that he assisted his mother. The matter was brought to a mediation.
At the contesting a will mediation the parties were able to sit down and, under the cloak of confidentiality, air their grievances and discuss their respective positions without fear of anything being used against them. This full and frank discussion allowed the parties to bridge the gap between them allowing us to resolve the matter so that the unequal distribution was diminished and our client received a larger percentage share of the estate than he was otherwise left under the Will.