Mum ‘not in write mind’

Sib­lings’ fight over will hinges on hand­writ­ing

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - KAY DIBBEN

A BROTHER and sis­ter are locked in a court bat­tle over their late mother’s will, with ques­tions be­ing asked about whether it was all in the mother’s own hand­writ­ing. Emer­ald car­a­van park op­er­a­tor John Walsh, 54, has taken out a caveat against a grant of pro­bate on the es­tate of his late mother, Pamela Walsh, who died in May aged 76. He has ques­tioned the va­lid­ity of her 2015 will, which left all her as­sets to his es­tranged older sis­ter, Melinda Walsh, and her daugh­ter, Marnie. Mrs Walsh’s death cer­tifi­cate said she suf­fered de­men­tia and type-2 di­a­betes for “years”, Supreme Court Jus­tice John Bond heard. On Fri­day Jus­tice Bond dis­missed an ap­pli­ca­tion by the es­tate’s ex­ecu­tors, Melinda and Marnie Walsh, to set aside the caveat. Jus­tice Bond said the death cer­tifi­cate alone raised “suf­fi­cient doubt’’ about Pamela Walsh’s test a men­tary ca­pac­ity at the time the will was ex­e­cuted. Mau­rice Black­burn la lawyer Naomi De D Costa, for Mr Walsh, W has also filed fi doc­u­ments ques­tion­ing qu the va­lid­ity va of the hand­writ­ing ha on Mrs M Walsh’s two-page tw will. “The hand­wwe writ­ing wr in the ex­e­cu­tion ex e clause cla c of the will wi is dif­fer­ent to y . COURT RE­PORTER the hand­writ­ing used to com­plete most of the doc­u­ment,’’ she said in an af­fi­davit.

“There ap­pears to be other hand­writ­ing, in re­la­tion to the gift over the resid­uary es­tate, which is dif­fer­ent to the hand­writ­ing in the ex­e­cu­tion clause.’’

Mr Walsh said in a court af­fi­davit that his mother had a phys­i­cal and men­tal break­down in 2011 and her health was never the same again. “She was vague and un­able to make de­ci­sions,’’ he said.

But Melinda and Marnie Walsh filed an af­fi­davit say­ing she was of sound mind, mem­ory and un­der­stand­ing when she made her will, and there was no un­due in­flu­ence on her.

The trio have also been in a dis­pute over the af­fairs of their fa­ther, Wil­liam, who died in April last year, with Melinda’s lawyer fil­ing a caveat over pro­bate of his es­tate.

Pamela Walsh owned a man­u­fac­tured home at Coom­babah, which Melinda and Marnie listed as their ad­dress, but the full value of her es­tate was un­known, the court was told.

On Fri­day, Melinda and Marnie Walsh gave an un­der­tak­ing not to deal with any es­tate as­sets.

Jus­tice Bond or­dered that they be­gin pro­ceed­ings for a solemn form grant of pro­bate, to be de­cided by a judge, and pro­vide a list of es­tate as­sets and li­a­bil­i­ties.

He ad­journed Mr Walsh’s ap­pli­ca­tion for his sis­ter and niece to be re­moved as ex­ecu­tors.

Jus­tice Bond said if it was proved that Mrs Walsh lacked ca­pac­ity when she made her will, it would mean she died in­tes­tate and Mr Walsh would have an in­ter­est in her es­tate.

FAM­ILY FEUD: Marnie (left) and Melinda Walsh; (in­set) John Walsh; the con­tentious hand­writ­ing. Pic­ture: An­nette Dew

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.