Published 06 Apr 2017
Author: David Cossalter
After a lifetimes work on family farm, two brothers settle their claim for $1,650,000.00 on their father’s rural Estate in southern, NSW, contesting a Will after it was divided unfairly between the siblings.
Born on the land, the brothers grew up learning every aspect of farm life, spending their weekends driving tractors, milking the cows, mustering sheep, building fence, cropping, shearing and looking after the books. Over the years they had helped their father turn the farm from a small rural holding into a multi-million dollar agricultural business.
In the 1980s, the younger brother asked the father if he could leave the family business to spend more time with his family and pursue a passion for woodcraft and left with his father’s blessing. The older brother stayed on the farm, paying himself little in the way of wages under the understanding that the farm would be split evenly between the siblings should the father pass away.
Things fell apart however in 2009, when the effects of a heavy drought struck the farm. Age finally caught up with the father, forcing him to retire and move into a nursing home. The older brother was let go as finances tightened, and slowly conflict grew between family members. In the conflict, the father reduced the brother’s portion of the Estate, leaving them both with the challenge of contesting a Will. The significant estate was left to one other sibling, one that did not work the farm and contributed little however this sibling always kept the ear of their father.
Both brothers approached Gerard Malouf & Partners and sought the expertise of David Cossalter, an experienced advocate in contesting estates. Due to the significant assets at stake David Cossalter worked closely with Barrister Mark Thompson of Sir Anthony Mason Chambers, and together they secured a mediation between the siblings resulting in a significant settlement for the brothers representing almost 50% of the net asset.
No matter is too small, large or complex. Call Gerard Malouf & Partners today and speak to one of our professions about contesting a Will. Time limits apply so call today on 1800 004 878.