The provisions set out in a NSW man’s estate has been amended and additional powers granted to two of his children acting as administrators of the family estate. Following the NSW man’s death in 2014, the estate was to be divided among his five children. However, debt issues from the deceased’s business resulted in his children taking legal action against the defendant, their sibling and former director of the deceased’s company.
The deceased’s business
Statewide Office Furniture Pty Ltd is a company established by the deceased in 1970 and continues as a furniture manufacturing business from premises in Kingsgrove, South Sydney, and other sites in Victoria and Queensland. The estate claimed a 50 per cent interest in the superannuation fund deriving from this business, and Statewide also owed a large debt to the deceased.
Prior to December 2013, the NSW man owned most of the shares in Statewide. At that point, he transferred all of his shares to the defendant, who became the company director from April 2015.
At least three Wills have been allegedly made by the NSW man, with the Wills in contention drafted in November 2013 and May 2014. The defendant favours the first draft as the truest reflection of the deceased’s wishes, while the second draft is favoured by the plaintiffs.
Under the November 2013 Will, which appointed the defendant as executor, the deceased established a trust that would only vest 20 years after the NSW man’s passing. The trust fund was to pay income to the beneficiaries (four of the deceased’s children) occasionally, and then the balance on vesting day in capital. However, the latter draft excluded the defendant entirely under the claim that he had taken a significant amount of money from the deceased since October 2013.
Three main decisions were made in regard to the dispute. These were:
- The court granted the two plaintiffs, acting as administrators of the deceased’s estate, additional powers. These included entering into a Deed of Company Arrangement on behalf of the estate and representing the estate in the Family Court of Australia.
- The pair were formerly justified in their seeking of an order against the defendant.
- The plaintiff’s application costs were to be covered by the estate on an indemnity basis.
If you want to contest a Will or think you haven’t been fairly provided for from a loved one’s estate, contact Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers today.