Debbie Jamieson / Equipment.
The 1 million property has sparked legal tensions between family members in Queenstown. (File photo)
A central Queen’s Town property worth millions of dollars was to be left to a woman’s beloved grandchildren – but it was sold before she died, sparking a legal battle.
Rona Violet Morton, who passed away on April 3, 2018, amassed considerable property assets with her late husband, including the Main St. property in Queenstown.
As part of her 2010 will, it was bequeathed to the children of daughter Julie Morton, with whom they were very close. Morton was appointed his mother’s enduring power of attorney in 2015.
Developers began looking at the property by the end of 2014.
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This led to an initial offer of 6 1.6 million, which later increased to 8 1.85 million – both rejected by Julie Morton.
But with more offers in 2015 and 2016, a buyer is now willing to pay 2.5 million.
Aware that the property was reserved for her children, Morton consulted with them.
The offer to sell the property for فیس 4.5 million excluding fees was agreed upon and a sale and purchase agreement was reached in October 2016 and settled in April 2017.
A recent High Court ruling states that Rona’s son, John Morton, has nothing to do with the sale price, or the sale decision.
But the sale will cause problems, largely due to legal advice received by Julie Morton.
The misconception was that the proceeds from the sale would go to Rona’s grandchildren.
If the proceeds from the sale of the Queen Stone property had gone to Rona, the cash would have been divided between brother and sister.
The issue was raised by lawyers as part of the sale, and the solution was to gift the proceeds of the sale to Julie Morton using sustainable power of attorney for her children.
But there was a problem. Julie Morton can be seen using her power of attorney to her advantage.
The June ruling said its actions were driven by “incorrect legal advice”.
John Morton appealed to the Family Court for a review of the decision, but the Family Court judge found Julie Morton to be in favor.
In the High Court appeal, it was noted that Rona’s will would provide significant relief for Julie Morton’s children, significantly less for John Morton’s children, and for the rest of the siblings.
It was noted that if the Queen Stone property had not been gifted, the estate would have been worth around 10 10 million.
John Morton’s lawyer calculated that if Queen Stone’s property income was included, his client would receive about 24% of the estate, but without that income he would receive about 33%.
His lawyer argued that the court’s endorsement of the gifts had the effect of removing ڈالر 4.5 million from the estate. In addition, family court judges failed to consider the implications of the removal, which meant that Rona violated her moral obligation with her son.
John Morton’s lawyer presented it to the Family Court, which reviewed and endorsed the gift after Rona’s death, and had to voluntarily consider the effects of the gift on his client.
An appeal against the Dunedin Family Court’s decision will be heard later.