A Queensland judge has strongly criticised the actions of a manipulative trio of friends, who conned an elderly millionaire into leaving his assets in their names.
In one of Queensland’s most complex statutory will cases, a 91-year-old property developer was taken out of hospital, without being discharged, by a real estate agent, her husband and a Gold Coast solicitor.
The Courier Mail reports the trio took the man, whose assets are worth $70 million, to a lawyer’s office to have his power of attorney revoked.
A Queensland judge strongly criticised the actions of a trio of friends who conned an elderly millionaire into leaving his assets to them
The man made a will leaving 58 per cent of his wealth to the trio and a retired doctor less than a year later.
The four had reportedly been asked to be left $1.4 million each.
Justice Peter Applegarth ordered a new will be made on behalf of the elderly millionaire, as the man ‘lacks testamentary capacity’.
The new will would leave nothing to trio and only $20,000 to the retired doctor.
A 91-year-old property developer was taken out of hospital, without being discharged, by a real estate agent, her husband and a Gold Coast solicitor
The elderly man, who was left isolated from his family and friends by the trio, was said to have developed an ‘irrational belief’ that his children were conspiring to end his life.
Justice Applegarth said such a belief was due to cognitive impairments and the influence of ‘new friends’.
The judge ordered that the man’s three adult children will become the primary beneficiaries of their father’s assets.
Justice Peter Applegarth ordered a new will be made on behalf of the elderly millionaire
However, Justice Applegarth decided one grandson, who only discovered he was related to the elderly man this year, will get $300,000 and five per cent of the residuary estate.
The grandson reportedly only met his grandfather at court last month.
Justice Applegarth said the Gold Coast solicitor and the real estate agent acted disgracefully and ‘misled and manipulated’ the elderly man for their own self-interest.
The multimillionaire has a monthly income of up to $225,000, with dividends from a joint-venture in a Queensland shopping complex.
The assets will primarily be divided among the man’s children, with a portion going to two charities and various long-term friends.