Published 08 Oct 2014
Author: David Cossalter
GMP Contesting Wills Lawyers were able to obtain a quick settlement for sisters left out of their father’s will. Our clients’ father passed away leaving the entirety of his estate to their other siblings. Our clients contacted GMP to help them through the process of contesting a will.
Our clients had worked hard throughout their lives in various family businesses in order to help support their family. However, our clients’ relationships with their father deteriorated after they moved on to start their own families and businesses. Their father did not take this very well and disowned the girls.
In his will, the Deceased specifically outlined the reasons that he felt justified excluding our clients from his will.
In relation to our first client the Deceased’s will stated that, at his expense, she had made a profit off a business dealing between them. Our first client had purchased some property off her father at a price that they agreed on. Our client sold the property several years later when she required the money for a different venture. Our client made a small profit on the sale of the property. However, she never knew that her father resented her for doing so, especially as they had agreed on the sale price and he had never voiced any issues during his lifetime.
According to the Deceased’s will, our second client was left out because the Deceased believed she had already received sufficient assistance during his lifetime. Our client strongly disagreed with this statement and felt that she had been treated unfairly in her father’s will.
Both our clients were elderly married women who owned their family homes. However, our clients and their partners suffered from various ongoing health issues as a result of their age. Our clients required assistance from their father’s estate to help them plan for their futures.
Upon receiving instructions from our clients, David Cossalter, the solicitor with carriage of this matter, wasted no time in filing proceedings in the Supreme Court of New South Wales.
A problem in these matters was the value of the estate. The value was contested as the Deceased had transferred much of his property prior to his death. David worked hard to claim the transferred property as a part of the Deceased’s estate, and was successful in doing so. The home had a value of $400,000.00 and there were 12 people to which had a claim on the deceased’s estate.
Given the small size of the estate, our clients wanted to avoid the expense and energy involved with running their matters to hearing. As such David Cossalter maintained open lines of communications with the Estate’s solicitors with regards to potentially settling the matter.
Within 9 months from the date that we received instructions, the Defendant’s solicitors made an offer of settlement of $75,000 in total. Our clients very happily instructed David to accept this offer.
Our clients knew that the settlement would assist them in planning for their futures. They also felt that it went someway to rectifying the damage that their father had caused by leaving them out of his will.
If you or somebody you know have any questions about contesting a will or notional estate do not hesitate to contact Gerard Malouf and Partners. Our experienced Will Disputes team have the knowledge necessary to maximise your settlement.