Published 19 Aug 2015
Author: David Cossalter
Our client contacted Gerard Malouf and Partners after her father-in-law passed away leaving her nothing in his will. Our client was uncertain whether she had grounds for contesting a will. David Cossalter from our Contesting Wills team explained that given her relationship with her father-in-law, our client had a strong claim against the Estate.
Our client and her husband moved to Adelaide after they were married. However, when her mother-in-law passed away, our client suggested to her husband that they should move back to Sydney to be closer to her father-in-law. Our client’s father-in-law was thrilled with this arrangement and built a granny flat behind his house for our client and her husband to live in. Our client enjoyed a close relationship with her father-in-law which continued even after her husband passed away. Our client looked after her father-in-law as he grew older until he was placed into a nursing home. After this our client visited her father-in-law regularly and was the contact person for the nursing home whenever a problem arose.
Our client did not have any major assets and continued to work part-time, even though she was an elderly woman. Whilst her income assisted our client to make ends meet, she had no interests in property. At the time of making her claim our client still lived in the granny flat behind her father-in-law’s house, which the Estate was planning on selling. This property was the major Estate asset and was valued at approximately $1.5million. It was necessary for our client to have sufficient funds to purchase a small property in order to ensure stability in her old age.
David Cossalter commenced proceedings in the Supreme Court of New South Wales. Through negotiations with the Estate, David Cossalter was able to secure an arrangement which would guarantee the stability of our client’s residence in the future. Our client would choose a house to be paid for and maintained out of the Estate assets and held in the name of the beneficiary of her father-in-laws will. She would reside in that property until she passed away or was admitted into an aged care facility. Our client was very happy with this arrangement as it secured a stable place of residence for her and meant that her income and savings would be sufficient to for a comfortable retirement.
If you are considering contesting a will get in contact with Gerard Malouf and Partners.