Published 21 Sep 2017
Author: David Cossalter
Gerard Malouf & Partners represented a widow in relation to the Estate of her late husband, drafting and preparing the relevant Probate application to assist in the finalisation of her late husband’s Estate. Unfortunately our client was the third spouse of this deceased’s person who had left 3 children from 1 marriage and 1 child from another. Along with a home in Rural NSW the deceased left modest assets and superannuation entitlements. Given the size of the Estate the deceased’s children were not to benefit from their late father’s Estate and our office received contesting will claims from all 4.
Our client held no ill will against the deceased’s children, living for a time with the youngest and forming relationships with them. She was however in no financial position to provide sufficiently for the children who had already received substantial benefit from their father’s superannuation policy.
Regardless of this our client wished to ensure that her late husband’s children were provided for and she was willing to engage the children, through their lawyers, in settlement discussions with a view of ensuring that what was left of the Estate was not eaten up by legal fees.
Our office was instructed to make formal offers to all parties involved coming to an amicable arrangement with 3 of the 4 children. Unfortunately the final child wanted the entirety of the Estate completely disregarding our client’s involvement in her late husband’s life and care, as well as completely disregarding our client’s own financial needs.
Formal proceedings were commenced within the Supreme Court of New South Wales by this lone child and the matter was pushed forward to mediation. Both parties had the opportunity to review the financial circumstances of the other so that they could approach the mediation in a well-informed manner, acting in good faith in a hope that the contesting will matter could be brought to an end.
It was always our client’s intention to provide for this child and quite reasonable offers were made taking into consideration our client’s future needs and those of the child. The matter was able to be resolved in terms that brought both parties together ensuring that neither was disregarded by the benefit received by the other.
At Gerard Malouf & Partners we have acted for both the Estate and persons claiming on an Estate. We have the knowledge and experience to assist the parties to come together for an amicable resolution which considers both the financial and emotional needs of all involved.
If you are the Executor of an Estate or someone who wishes to claim on the Estate of a loved one please do not hesitate to contact the expert team at Gerard Malouf & Partners Will Dispute Lawyers so we can assist you in reaching an amicable and quick resolution.