Published 05 Feb 2014
Author: David Cossalter
Our client’s mother passed away leaving her estate in equal shares to our client and his brother. In the circumstances of this case, considering the differing financial positions of our client and his brother, it was not a fair apportionment of the estate. We investigated this difference in position and were able to commence an action in contesting a will.
Our client was in very poor financial position. He had no savings, was living on a pension, had recently been homeless and, at the time he came to our office to seek some help, he was living at a friend’s place. His brother had a very different financial position; he was a successful businessman who owned at least four investment properties outright. These properties were valued at over $5,000,000.00. Furthermore, our client’s late mother had contributed significantly to the brother’s business during her lifetime.
Upon receiving instructions to act in this matter contesting wills lawyer David Cossalter recognised that our client’s financial needs, in contrast to his brother’s wealth, meant that our client was entitled to a greater portion of the estate than his brother. David Cossalter contacted the executors of the estate to advise them of our client’s intention to commence the will contest.
There was little response from the estate and so as to ensure they knew we had no fear of pursuing our client’s rights to the end, David commenced a contesting a will claim in the Supreme Court of New South Wales.
The estate was relatively small, being valued at just over $500,000. After negotiations with the executors, the parties were able to come to an agreement without formal court involvement. We were able to achieve a brilliant result for our client and secured for him a share in his mother’s estate to the value of 75%.
We were really happy with this result as we were able to ensure that justice prevailed and our client’s future was secured.