Published 14 Nov 2012
Author: David Cossalter
We represented one of five siblings, the only son who was completely left out of the Will of his late mother. The estate, being only some $300,000.00 after the payment of expenses, was left equally to his siblings and nothing to our client. Within six months settlement was achieved.
This is a case where our client and his siblings were in relatively similar financial circumstances however for a period of approximately forty years there was little or no contact between our client and his mother, the deceased. This was due primarily to the fact that his mother did not wish him to marry his wife.
This is a case where we were confident that the conduct of the late mother, was such that any reasonable person would have dissolved the mother/son relationship and thus a claim was pursued. This position was put forward to the estate who advocated that our client’s conduct prohibited him from pursuing a claim.
Our client’s position was vigorously defended and we advocated that it was the conduct of the mother which caused the significant disruption to the relationship, and therefore he was perfectly entitled to pursue a family provision claim.
Within six months of the initial conference with our client we had collated all his financial material in support of his claim and advocated his rights with the estate.
On account of our assertive position in relation to the relationship we were able to achieve a result which equalled approximately 14% of the estate. This was all done prior to the commencement of formal court proceedings and as such we were able to keep costs to a minimum ensuring that our client received the maximum benefit from his claim. This was an optimum result and our client was extremely happy.
Due to his reasonable position in allowing the extra percentage to his siblings in recognition of their long standing relationship with their mother, he was also confident that he may be able to mend future relationships with his family.