Published 23 Sep 2015
Author: David Cossalter
Our client lived in Parkes NSW and instructed GMP Contesting Wills Lawyers in relation to a claim for further provision out of the estate of his biological father. Our client was an estranged son who overcame paternity disputes and received over $300,000 from his late father’s estate. Our client was left out of his late father’s will, and felt that it was important to contest the will.
Our client had grown up without his father and was estranged from him at the time of his death. A couple of years before our client’s father passed away, his mother informed him of his father’s identity. Our client made the effort to find his father and form a relationship with him, and maintained this relationship for over a year. However, our client’s father cut-off ties with our client at the insistence of his other children.
At the time of instructing GMP, our client was a widower and single parent in poor financial circumstances. Our client owned property subject to a large mortgage and was living off a pension. Our client had little by way of superannuation and was worried for his and his daughter’s future.
Upon receiving our client’s instructions to commence proceedings in this matter, David Cossalter acted quickly in order to secure our client’s rights to contest a will. David filed proceedings in the Supreme Court of New South Wales, and maintained communication with the defendants in this matter.
The defendants initially denied that our client was the son of the Deceased. We fought hard for our client and insisted that a DNA paternity test be undertaken. The test results confirmed that our client was the son of the deceased.
After overcoming the hurdle of paternity tests, we attended a court annexed mediation with the defendants. Whilst this matter was unable to be resolved at the mediation, it did bring the parties closer together. Following the mediation further offers were exchanged between the parties. The defendants made an offer of settlement in excess of $300,000.00 and our client advised us to accept this offer.
Our client was greatly appreciative that we were able to back him throughout this matter and despite the difficulties in proving his connection to the Deceased. Our client felt that the defendants’ offer represented a recognition that he was his father’s son.
If you or anybody you know is considering contesting a will please do not hesitate to contact the experienced team of solicitors at GMP Contesting Wills Lawyers. Time limits apply to will dispute matters.