NSW Country town man successfully settles his contesting a will dispute

Published 10 Nov 2016

Author: Garbis Kolokossian

Gerard Malouf and Partners recently acted an adult son who was inadequately provided for under the terms of the will left by his biological father in 2011. His father passed away in 2015 in New South Wales, leaving an estate. Under the terms of the will, the Estate divided was not appropriate for our client and his current living circumstances. It was clear that our client required immediate assistance from the Estate for maintenance, support and advancement. The son approached our law firm in December 2015 to obtain advice about how to contest a will in NSW and what the considerations of the court are when determining a contesting will claim.  

Our contesting a will lawyers put the estate on notice of our client’s intention to dispute the will, we were also instructed to approach the estate with the intention of bringing a full and final resolution in the matter prior to commencing proceedings. When negotiations failed, Gerard Malouf and Partners commenced proceedings in the NSW Supreme Court. The estate was valued over $2 million, consisting of 3 properties, one which our client resided in, cash and investment accounts and a motor vehicle.

The sons relationship with his father was not the best although he had always respected him. However, he did not feel a lot of love and felt that his father was always trying to control his life. His personal circumstances were not pleasant having divorced in his early years, living alone without the company of his biological child, living without luxuries and was in receipt of a disability support pension. Under the terms of the will, our client was left with a property held on trust by his sister and he was to receive 50% of the residue of the estate provided he attained the age of 65. Under this provision, our client was deprived of the right to own the property in his own name and deprived of the financial freedom to move and renovate the property if circumstances necessitated it.

Following the commencement of proceedings, the Court ordered the parties to participate in a private mediation given the size of the estate. After extensive discussions spanning for almost one day between the parties, Gerard Malouf and Partners was able to successfully resolve the matter for our client. The parties agreed that our client was entitled to reside in the property free from any encumbrances and was granted the balance of 50% of the residue of the estate for his benefit absolutely without attaining the age of 65.

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