Glenn Wran, the son of Wran’s first wife Marcia, launched legal action against Kim Wran Sheftell, his half-sister and the estate’s executor, over the late Labor giant’s $40 million estate.
Wran’s youngest children, Harriet and Hugo Wran, by his second wife Jill Hickson Wran, have since joined the claim, as has his New Caledonia-born god-daughter Helene De Poortere. Mrs Hickson Wran is also a defendant.
During a hearing in the NSW Supreme Court late last month, Justice Philip Hallen was told the actual estate is valued between $700,000 and $1.6 million. But the notional estate, which could include superannuation, family trusts and real estate held with a joint tenant, is thought to be worth up to $40 million.
Nifty notched up much of his fortune as an investment banker, after leaving politics in 1986.
The court has previously heard Mrs Hickson Wran owns much of the property in the notional estate and under her late husband’s final will is the beneficiary of certain personal effects as well.
Prospects for a happy settlement don’t appear bright. Harriet’s lawyer said obtaining instructions from his client was “not straightforward” as she is currently on remand charged with the murder of drug dealer Daniel McNulty.
Ms De Poortere’s lawyer said his client couldn’t afford to pay the fees for mediation, prompting Justice Hallen to recommend the bill be paid for by the estate in the interim.
Talks are expected to take place over the next six weeks: if they are unsuccessful, the dispute is likely to be played out in a very public trial.