Madeleine Purcell - Associate - Melbourne


Madeleine Purcell – Associate – Melbourne

Contested Estates and Wills

1300 038 223

Madeleine Purcell graduated from Deakin University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in psychology. She completed her Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at the College of Law and was admitted to practice at the Supreme Court of Victoria in April 2018. Madeleine has primarily worked in the areas of wills & estates and property law and has a strong interest in contested wills and estate litigation.

In her free time, Madeleine enjoys cooking as well as reading, travelling and seeing live music.

Publications

She was fabulous. If I need to take this action further I would absolutely be engaging Madeleine.

– Client


Hi there Madeleine,
I wanted to say a big thank you to you regarding the completion of the
above matter.
Thank you for your professionalism and support during this time, it was much appreciated.
I am glad it is all over.
All the best for you,

-Client


We could not believe someone so young could exude such wisdom and empathy into a situation of a will challenge, I mean given the volatility as you well know in these situations.

I have to admit I was concerned when our original lawyer left your employ, but Madeleine quickly allayed any fears we may have had, she is a huge credit to your firm.

Her people skills, extreme professionalism, as well as being so approachable made the whole experience whilst I won’t say fun, but seamless and unobtrusive in our lives as much as possible.

All this under the cloud of Covid to boot!

I think after such a stellar performance she deserves a pay rise and a corner office.

-Client


Mediation of contested estate matter results in additional $180,000 for client

Our solicitor Madeleine Purcell represented a client in a contested estates matter. The client was the adult son of the deceased, who had been left a minimal cash gift of $50,000 jointly with his wife from the estate of his deceased mother. The estate was valued at over $1,000,000.

The client contested his deceased’s mother’s will, claiming that the cash bequest of $50,000 was not adequate provision. The other beneficiaries named in the will were his siblings, nieces and nephews, who were all receiving a greater entitlement than our client. The client had maintained a relationship with the deceased for the majority of her life and there was no explanation in the deceased’s will as to why the client had been left such a minimal bequest, from a relatively large estate.

In this matter, considering our client’s asset position, the pragmatic approach to take was to endeavour to settle the matter at mediation, as a risk if the matter proceeded to trial was that the judge may take the position that the client’s entitlement under the will was sufficient provision for the client because of his asset position, despite his having significant debts.

By settling this matter at mediation, we were able to get further provision for the client in the sum of $230,000. This was $180,000 more than what the client was entitled to under the will and it allowed the client to significantly reduce his debts.

Client excused from acting as executor and reimbursed $65,000 in costs

Our solicitor Madeleine Purcell represented an executor of the estate of his late sister and assisted him obtain a Grant of Probate in the deceased’s estate. During the administration of the estate, an application to remove our client as executor and trustee of the estate was brought by the guardian of the deceased’s minor daughter.

Difficulties had arisen between our client and the sole beneficiary of the estate (the minor daughter) in respect of the estate property. The estate had significant debts and the property held needed to be sold to pay out all liabilities of the estate as there were no cash assets. However, the minor daughter wanted to retain the property. The claim that had been brought to remove our client as executor did not have a proper basis, as our client was not in breach of his duties as an executor. However, it became apparent that our client and the minor beneficiary were not going to be able to agree in respect of this property, and if our client were to continue to act as executor, administration of the estate would be a challenge.

As a result, the pragmatic approach to take was to have our client agree to step down as executor, allowing the substitute executor to come in and take on the role of administrator and trustee of the estate, provided all of the costs our client had incurred to date in respect of the estate were reimbursed by the estate and/or the person who had brought the claim. This included his legal costs both for obtaining a Grant of Probate and defending the executor removal application.

We were able to settle this matter on these terms, and our client was reimbursed approximately $65,000 for estate expenses for which he had been out of pocket for some time, and he no longer had the responsibility of administering this estate in the difficult circumstances.

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