Legal disputes between family members can turn ugly pretty fast.
News.com.au has reported a Sydney man has won back $75,000 from his deceased mother’s estate despite being categorically written out after abandoning her during a lengthy battle with illness.
The woman, who died in November 2016 at the age of 83, wrote in her 2010 will that her youngest son and his wife will get nothing. Her husband, who died in 2012, made similar statements in his will that he did not wish them to “receive any benefit from my estate”. According to the report, she left her two grandchildren $20,000 each for when they turned 25, to be distributed by the eldest son.
In her will, she stated how her youngest son was “always very close to me” until his marriage, after which “he effectively lost contact with everyone”, adding he and his wife cut her off from their children, causing her “considerable ongoing heartache”.
The woman said during the past 10 years her husband has had ongoing poor health, adding she also experienced periods of ill health, including “suffering Bell’s palsy and now I am in early stages of Alzheimer’s disease”.
“We have been extremely disappointed during this period in particular that [he] has never been of any support or comfort to us, leaving our other son to take care of us on his own. Nor has he made any effort to allow us to spend time with our grandchildren.”
According to the report, the court heard that in 2012, after the death of his father, the man told his wife that his mother had sexually abused him as a child from the ages of seven to 11. He claimed he was “touched inappropriately in a bedroom setting”.
However, the older brother said he had no knowledge of the allegations prior to the court case, and that he did not believe they were true. Justice Geoff Lindsay reportedly said he did “not exclude the possibility that he was abused, as he says, but neither am I comfortably satisfied that he was”.
Weighing against the mother’s deliberate wish to write him out of her will, the $75,000 was “commensurate with his limited relationship with the deceased”, the publication stated.
Property disputes between brothers and sisters can get messy pretty quick and it’s not the first time they’ve made headlines. In August two American expat brothers living together on the New South Wales north coast were caught in a row so ugly one sibling demanded the other to be sent back to the United States.
Brothers Larry and Carl Halquist live together in the home their late mother left them in Sapphire Beach, near Coffs Harbour in New South Wales. However, Carl, who was made executor of their mother’s estate, wants to sell, while Larry is vowing to stay put. As a result, he’s now calling for Carl to be deported back to the States.
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