Published 16 Apr 2014
Author: Garbis Kolokossian
Our client was from a large family of six children. Our client’s mother passed away and left the entirety of her estate to two of our client’s sibling. Our client was deeply distressed after discovering that she was left out of her mother’s will. Our client contacted the experienced Contested Wills team at Gerard Malouf and Partners to discuss the possibility of contesting a will.
Our client had enjoyed a close relationship with her mother throughout her youth and into her early twenties. However, our client had been abused by her father when she was younger and decided to report this abuse to the police after she left home. Our client’s mother was a very private person and refused to speak to our client after she had reported the abuse. This made our client feel abandoned by her mother, and their relationship effectively came to an end.
Our client had undergone extensive therapy in order to overcome the effects of the abuse she suffered during her childhood and still suffered. Our client was in dire financial circumstances. Our client did not own her own home and had accumulated a large amount of debt. Our client’s husband was unable to work as he was a fulltime carer for their two disabled children.
Richele Nelsen, the solicitor with day to day carriage of this matter, contacted the Estate’s solicitors to put them on notice of our client’s claim. The Estate then made an offer of settlement to our client which our client instructed Richele to accept. Richele advised our client that her claim was worth an amount greater than the offer and that our client should reject the Estate’s offer. However, our client insisted on accepting the offer and Richele conveyed our client’s acceptance to the Estate.
Approximately six months later our client later called Gerard Malouf and Partners because she regretted having accepted the Estate’s offer of settlement and wanted to make a further claim against the Estate. Garbis Kolokossian took over day to day carriage of the matter and was able to overcome issues of our client’s previous settlement, her late claim, and arguments about notional estate. Garbis then filed a claim with the Supreme Court of NSW. Our client’s three siblings who had also been left out of their mother’s will had also filed claims.
A mediation was organised to try and resolve the matter out of court and to save the legal costs involved with having so many parties to proceedings. At mediation the Estate made an offer of settlement to our client in the amount of $100,000. Our client was happy to accept this offer and was Garbis advised her that it was a good offer.
Our client was very grateful to the Contested Wills team at Gerard Malouf and Partners for not giving up on her claim even though she had originally settled against their advice.
If you are considering contesting a will and want solicitors who will fight for your entitlements then contact the experienced team at Gerard Malouf and Partners today.