Published 10 Feb 2016
Author: David Cossalter
A nephew contests a will of his aunt, settling a claim for $70,000 on her Kingsford estate after being unfairly left out of his aunt’s will.
The nephew had a close relationship with his aunt. When he was 5 years old, his mother fell ill and he was sent to live with his aunt whilst his mother recovered. The aunt had no children of her own, and developed a maternal bond with the young boy, taking him shopping, to the movies, to high tea with her friends and neighbours and looking after him as if he was her own. When he returned home the nephew maintained a close relationship with his Aunt, visiting her every fortnight.
When he was 6 the nephew was diagnosed with Polio, a debilitating disease that causes paralysis, muscle weakness and fatigue. As a teenager and a young adult the boy endured multiple operations, however, none of these surgeries would prove successful, leaving him in further pain. Throughout this period his aunt would visit him in hospital, bringing flowers and chocolates and providing him with emotional support throughout his ordeal. Eventually the young boy would give up on surgery, turning to aids such as special boots and canes to help him walk and deal with his condition.
In the early 1980s the nephew suffered renal failure and was put on the list for a kidney transplant. Although a donor was found and the transplant was successful, in 2009 he suffered a kidney rejection and was admitted to hospital for a year.
During this time, the aunt was in the same hospital after she suffered a number of falls, the two of them rekindling their relationship and providing each other with emotional support throughout their time in hospital.
In 2012 the nephew went to visit his aunt at her home. However, he was told that she had been placed in a nursing home. The nephew saw her as often as he could, but due to his illness he was only able to see her a few times before she passed away.
At the time of her death the nephew’s outlook was poor – now an old man, he lived off a disability pension with few assets of his own. His health had deteriorated, and he needed money towards a dialysis machine and a wheelchair in order to maintain his standard of living.
The nephew came to Gerard Malouf & Partners, seeking the help of experienced lawyer David Cossalter to contest a will. David was faced with an uphill battle – as a result of his condition the nephew would struggle to show he maintained a close relationship with his aunt in her final years, and the decision would likely come down on a knife’s edge. Wishing to secure the best outcome for the client, David acted quickly, settling the claim for $70,000 with the other party before litigation even began.
Have you been unfairly left out of a loved one’s will? Maybe you face financial hardship and illness in your twilight years. Don’t suffer needlessly. Call Gerard Malouf & Partners on 1800 004 878 about contesting a will and speak to one of our experienced lawyers. Time limits apply so call today.