Published 29 Sep 2016
Author: David Cossalter
Our client had a close relationship with her aunt and depended on her for some time. As a result our client was surprised by her aunt’s will which distributed her Inner City assets equally amongst our client and her siblings. Our client’s siblings had had little contact with the aunt and were in no way dependant. In her circumstances our client felt that contesting a will was the right decision to make and contacted David Cossalter of the Wills Disputes Team at Gerard Malouf and Partners.
Our client’s childhood home was too small for the number of children and so she lived with her aunt for a period of seven years. During this time our client was looked after emotionally and financially by her aunt. Even after our client moved out, many of her possessions remained at her aunt’s home.
Our client cared for her aunt greatly, and maintained a close relationship with her over the years. Towards the end of her life our client’s aunt was moved into a nursing home, and our client was one of the nursing home’s contact people. During this time our client and her aunt made an agreement that our client’s aunt would purchase a home for our client to live in and our client would improve the property. In exchange for our client’s work on the property she would inherit the property from her aunt.
Our client’s financial circumstances were very poor. She had been through two divorces and walked out of both with few assets. Our client had used the little she had in savings to improve the home her aunt had bought for our client to live in, the property was not in our client’s name and due to the will she was set to be evicted.
David Cossalter commenced court proceedings in this matter but settlement was reached at mediation between the parties. Our client was happy to accept an offer of $70,000.00 as it helped her financial circumstances and allowed her enough money to put a deposit on a property in her area.
Challenging a will can be a hard decision to make. If you are considering contesting a will speak to the experienced team at Gerard Malouf and Partners first.