Published 23 Oct 2013
Author: David Cossalter
We were approached by a daughter of the deceased whom was left entirely out of her late mother’s Will. There was no true reason for this as our client maintained a close relationship with her mother throughout the deceased’s life.
The Will was changed 6 months prior to her death with the entire estate was left to our client’s sister. It was insinuated that the reason for our client being left out of the Will was due to her sister’s influence over her mother. Such an allegation is severe when made without proof and does not facilitate Contesting Will negotiations.
Our client engaged our contesting a will lawyers to attempt to negotiate with the estate prior to making any formal Court “Contesting a Will” proceedings. We promptly wrote to the Estate solicitors informing them that it was our client’s intention to commence a Will Dispute action, and in doing so put together a settlement proposal.
We were able to set aside the bad blood regarding the creation of the new Will and focus entirely on putting forward a valid “Contesting a Will” claim.
Significant correspondence passed between the parties and we were able to finally reach a resolution whereby our client received 40% of the estate. We were able to do this without the need to commence formal legal action and without the need to engage in a costly legal battle.
In this matter, we were also able to address the issues surrounding the creation of the second Will. The sisters, through their solicitors, were able to engage in meaningful discussions. We were able to open a dialogue between them which would be the start of mending family relationships.
This was an exceptional result and showed that even when family members are in direct conflict, the involvement of a lawyer, in maintaining a friendly, non-aggressive approach to the contesting a will situation, facilitated an amicable resolution.