Published 21 Dec 2017
Author: Richele Nelsen
Our client was a 67 year old lady from Western Sydney. She had contacted Gerard Malouf & Partners Contesting a Will Lawyers after learning that her father had died and made no provision for her in his last will and testament. At the time of his death, our client’s father had an estate worth approximately $1.4 million. The entirety of this estate was left his widow, our client’s step mother.
After learning she had been excluded from her late father’s will our client contacted Gerard Malouf & Partners to enquire about contesting a will. Our will dispute lawyers were able to identify a possible family provision claim to be brought on behalf of our client.
One hurdle that had to be overcome in order to succeed in a family provision claim was a possible argument that our client was disentitled to receive any provision as she was estranged from her father. When our client was in her mid-20’s she had a falling out with her father when she discovered that he had been actively deceiving her in such a manner that would end almost any relationship. The deceased made no attempts to reconcile the relationship with his daughter and as such they had no contact for over 30 years.
Our experienced will dispute lawyers were able to flesh out the basis of the estrangement in an affidavit of our client which was also used to set out her financial circumstances and need for provision from the estate. Our client was receiving an aged pension and living in Government housing. She was divorced, had a small amount of savings and superannuation of approximately $100,000.
The deceased’s widow had no assets in her own right and relied on the provision made for her in late husband’s will. In order to succeed in a claim for family provision on behalf of our client we needed to establish that our client was an eligible person, that she had financial need and that there was sufficient funds in the estate to award her provision without a detrimental impact on the widow. We were able to put forward a number of scenarios whereby the widow would have sufficient funds to continue leading a comfortable life whilst still allowing for provision to be made in favour of our client.
This matter was listed for a mediation and the parties were able to utilise this opportunity to canvas settlement discussions. We were able to successfully negotiate a settlement of our client’s claim whereby she received in excess of $100,000 from her late father’s estate despite having no relationship with him for an excess of 30 years prior.
If you have been left out of a Will or have any enquiry about contesting a Will, call Gerard Malouf & Partners Will Dispute Lawyers today.