Published 13 Apr 2017
Author: David Cossalter
A woman from Bankstown has received over $150,000.00 after successfully contesting the will of her late father. Our client was an elderly lady with several medical concerns. She had a good relationship with her father and visited him often. The majority of the deceased’s Estate comprised of two properties, one rural and one suburban.
In the deceased’s will, a minor share of the rural property was left to our client, which equated to an amount of approximately $10,000.00.
Our client attended upon the GMP Contesting Will Lawyers and our offices forwarded letters to the executor’s of the Will notifying them of our client’s intentions in contesting the will.
Following our preliminary investigations, the executor’s legal representatives contacted us inviting us to participate in a mediation prior to commencing a claim. That is, we were invited to an opportunity to settle the claim without having to commence Court proceedings.
Whilst waiting for our mediation date, the GMP Contesting Will Lawyers proceeded with the claim as normal. Whilst it was our intention to obtain a fair and reasonable settlement at the mediation if possible, the solicitors wanted to ensure that should a resolution not be reached, they were ready to commence Court proceedings immediately.
Investigations were performed as to the value of the Estate and the properties involved, and an Affidavit was prepared on behalf of our client. The Affidavit addressed items such as our client’s eligibility in contesting a will, and her needs as to the provision for the maintenance, education and advancement of life. Our client was on a Disability Pension, had serious medical issues, a number of bills and lived in very modest accommodation.
All documents were prepared and ready to go, and on the date of mediation we had our client sign those documents so we were prepared if it was unsuccessful.
At mediation, the GMP Contesting Will Lawyers enlisted the assistance of a barrister. The Defendant, their solicitors and barristers were also in attendance. The mediation commenced with both parties giving submissions as to entitlements and initial offers were exchanged. The Defendant’s initial offer was extremely meagre, being only marginally better than what the client was receiving from the Will.
Negotiations went back and forth for over 6 hours. By the end of it, the Defendant’s had offered an amount over 4 times greater than their initial offer, which was an amount over $150,000.00. This was a fantastic result, and one which our client was extremely happy to accept.
This result was more satisfying for the reason that it occurred without Court proceedings being commenced. This saved a great deal of time and costs, and from the date of our client first attending our offices to the date of mediation and settlement, 5 months had elapsed.
If you have been unjustly left out of a Will, please do not hesitate to contact the experienced GMP Contesting Will Lawyers for a free consultation on 1800 004 878.