Australia: Nickel tycoon's family dramas put $110m estate in limbo - - PressFrom - Australia
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Australia Nickel tycoon's family dramas put $110m estate in limbo

21:15  10 november  2019
21:15  10 november  2019 Source:   smh.com.au

Fancy being laird of the manor? People with unusual surnames including Carlin, Hunniball, Malone-Philban and Raube could be in line to claim one of 435 empty Scottish estates worth up to £370,000

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a man is using his cell phone: Millie Phillips at her Kent Street office in the 1990s.© Barry Chapman Millie Phillips at her Kent Street office in the 1990s. Millie Phillips was once the richest woman in Australia but now her “quarrelsome personality” has led to a court battle over the 90-year-old's refusal to sign a will covering her estate, estimated to be around $110 million.

Mrs Phillips, who resides in  Rose Bay nursing home, has fallen out with both her children, Sharonne, 61, and Robert, 62. Mrs Phillips refused to sign her will and now a stroke has rendered her incapable of doing so, a Sydney court has heard.

In September 2017, Sharonne Phillips was “deeply hurt” when she discovered that her mother had secretly removed the remains of her sister, Lynette, who died in horrific circumstances in 1978, the court heard.

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As a member of the controversial Ananda Marga sect, Lynette had self-immolated outside the United Nations headquarters in Geneva.

Her mother claimed she did not know the name of the cemetery in Jerusalem where she had had Lynette re-buried.

a person posing for the camera: By 1970, Mrs Phillips had made a fortune out of the nickel boom.© Fairfax Media By 1970, Mrs Phillips had made a fortune out of the nickel boom. Born in Poland in 1929, Mrs Phillips came to Australia at the age of 10 and was married at 17. In 1960, her marriage broke up and she was left with three children under the age of six. She borrowed $4000 and established a boarding house for 80 in Ashfield.

In 1968, she invested $5000 in a tin mine at Torrington, later making a fortune out of the nickel boom. In 1974, as chairwoman of nickel explorer International Mining Corporation, Mrs Phillips was charged with insider trading.

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She was alleged to have improperly used inside information she had obtained by reading a confidential company report after which she instructed an employee to purchase shares in IMC. The case was dismissed in 1975.

Around this time, Mrs Phillips, through her company Milstern (named after her birth name Milka Stern), began investing in nursing homes and hotels.

In 2008, Mrs Phillips was banned from attending a coronial inquest into the death of Donald Fairbairn, who had been injected with 10 times his prescribed dose of insulin at a Yagoona nursing home owned by Mrs Phillips.

a person posing for the camera: Sharonne Phillips was © Supplied Sharonne Phillips was "deeply hurt" when she discovered her mother had secretly removed the remains of her late sister Lynette to Israel. A belligerent Mrs Phillips was ejected from proceedings after she blocked Mr Fairbairn’s daughter from leaving the court, saying to her: “This is your fault we're having this inquest.” She also said Mr Fairbairn “was worth nothing” and that he was “old and going to die” anyway.

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In September 2017, Mrs Phillips’ nursing homes lost their accreditation after an audit found that the residents didn’t have enough food and water, that staffing levels were inadequate and that patients were being assaulted by other patients.

Mrs Phillips, then 88, complained about the loss of accreditation, suggesting it was the rogue actions of a “police state”.

Around this same time, Mrs Phillips, in hospital having had another fall, realised she needed to get her affairs in order. If she died without making a will, her estate would be divided between her two children. She did not want her son, Mr Phillips, to get anything, believing that he had not supported her sufficiently when she took legal action against a former lawyer over a Bronte property development.

However, she decided to leave something to Mr Phillips' five children as well as Sharonne’s only child, Anthony Small.

a man standing in front of a building: Anthony Small graduated with a law degree from Sydney University in 2019.© Facebook Anthony Small graduated with a law degree from Sydney University in 2019. The court heard that in 2018, she took her grandchildren to dinner at Tetsuya’s Restaurant. The court heard that Mrs Phillips "gave an unpleasant speech saying ‘I don’t know any of you people’ and words to the effect of 'You’ve all missed out considerably, and Anthony will do a lot better'.”

Adelaide lawyer who stole from deceased estates sentenced to nine years' jail

  Adelaide lawyer who stole from deceased estates sentenced to nine years' jail A disgraced Adelaide lawyer who stole $850,000 from two deceased estates and fabricated documents to cover his tracks is jailed for nine years.Stephen McNamara will be eligible for parole in five-and-a-half years after he was found guilty of 33 charges of theft and fabricating evidence in the Adelaide District Court.

Attempts throughout 2017 and 2018 to draw a will were constantly frustrated by Mrs Phillips' “quarrelsome personality”. In emails presented to court, she accused one of her lawyers as “acting as if [she was] no longer alive”. Her lawyer explained that he was trying to document her intentions as to what should occur after her death or incapacity, and “to protect her estate and uphold her intentions from most likely attack, namely, from Robert”.

Last week, the NSW Court of Appeal upheld an application by her grandson, Mr Small, 25, authorising the making of a will on behalf of Mrs Phillips based on previous drafts of her will.

This was unsuccessfully contested by Sharonne Phillips, Mr Phillips and Mrs Phillips, via her legal representative.

a smiling man and woman posing for a photo: Property developer Robert Phillips with his wife, Judy.© Facebook Property developer Robert Phillips with his wife, Judy. According to her will, the Tel Aviv University in Israel will receive $20 million and Sydney’s Jewish Museum will receive $1 million. Mrs Phillips’ housekeeper will receive $250,000.

While Mr Phillips will get nothing, his five children will each receive $1 million.

Sharonne will inherit $5 million. The big winner will be Mr Small, who will receive a $25 million property near Bathurst on which a Bunnings store makes an estimated profit of $1 million per year.

Mr Small and his mother will also inherit the property Northfield, with 10 acres of gardens at Kurrajong Heights, along with Mrs Phillips’ personal effects including artwork.

The rest of her estate will go to fighting anti-Semitism through the “Millie Phillips Jewish Fund”.

Bob Hawke's daughter Sue breaks her silence on the messy legal stoush over his $18million estate - saying she's 'grateful' for the $750k her father left her - as her once troubled younger sister demands A LOT more .
Bob Hawke's eldest daughter Sue Pieters-Hawke has declared she is 'grateful' for being left $750,000 from her father's will. Her younger sister Rosslyn Dillon is contesting it.Australia's longest-serving Labor prime minister left $750,000 each to his three children - Sue, Stephen and Rosslyn - and to his stepson Louis Pratt, an artist.

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