Published 30 Dec 2015
Author: David Cossalter
Contesting a will is often a time of conflict in families. Sometimes this conflict can escalate into intimidation and harassment. In a recent contesting a will case settled by David Cossalter of Gerard Malouf and Partners, a daughter who faced such abuse and, against the odds, secured a $250,000 settlement on her father’s Hornsby Estate.
Life wasn’t easy for our client – a young mother, she became a single parent after her relationship with her partner broke down. Luckily, her relationship with her father was a loving one. He welcomed her with open arms, letting her move back into the family house. She in turn cared for her father, cooking, cleaning and looking after him in his final years as he struggled with diabetes and neuropathy. She was his companion and he did not take another wife.
After her father’s death the daughter immediately experienced intimidation and harassment from her mother and brother who wanted her out of the house. This involved cutting the phone and hot water, threats of violence and even trashing the child’s room. Our client’s mother and her father had been divorced for some 20 years however the matrimonial home had never been sold.
When the daughter came to GMP Contesting a Will Lawyers she was deeply distressed. She was living between friends, on couches and fold up beds and could not provide her child with a stable home. She did not even have access to her father’s will as her mother and brother refused to show it to her.
David Cossalter, our experienced Wills and Estates lawyer, knew that the situation required delicate care, and immediately moved together with a barrister to prepare and file the daughter’s case in the Supreme Court of New South Wales. This forced the mother and brother to recognise our client’s entitlements in contesting a will and negotiate. Following the commencement of the trial, we were able to secure her a $250,000 settlement.
Have you or your family been victims of intimidation and harassment as a result of contesting a will? Call GMP today on 1800 004 878 and speak to one of our experienced Wills and Estates lawyers. Time limits apply so call today!