Family wants new will for car baron’s $221 fortune
GORDON Scifleet's family has asked a court to approve a statutory will for the ailing car baron because his dementia "has progressed to the point that he no longer engages in sensible conversation with others".
The richlister is set to leave his $221 million fortune to his wife and five children, a court has heard.
The court heard Scifleet, 84, of Chelmer, who built his empire into the nation's top-selling Toyota dealership as well as Lexus, Hino and Mazda dealerships, can no longer make his own will because he has dementia and his youngest child, Andrew, 46, has gone to court in a bid to apply for the court to make a statutory will.
Mr Scifleet has been living in a Chelmer nursing home since August after he was found on the laundry floor of his $7m Pullenvale home "cold and disoriented" after sleeping there alone "for a few days", after ordering his wife Patricia to leave the house, court documents state.
The Supreme Court was told that Scifleet Snr's assets include shares in his car companies worth $209 million, and several Norman Lindsay paintings, a $7 million five-bedroom mansion described as "Palazzo Pullenvale'' on the coveted "millionaires ridge", $1m worth of furniture, and a $2.5m Brookfield property.
Mr Scifleet Jnr told the court a new will was needed to replace his father's 2010 will, due to the "growth and evolution of the family business".
Mr Scifleet Jnr told the court his father would wish to "protect" the family car business by bequeathing it to his children through testamentary trusts - used by the rich to protect assets from bankruptcy and creditors, while minimising tax.
"My conversations with my father over the years concerning succession planning for the business was always to protect the business from the shareholders and especially those shareholders who were not actively involved in the business and as such did not have a fully informed understanding of the business," Mr Scifleet Jnr told the court.
Andrew told the court his father's dementia "has progressed to the point that he no longer engages in sensible conversation with others".
He has drafted a proposed new 72 page will appointing himself and his sister Patricia, 60, as executors, and giving 36 per cent of the family business to himself, and 16 per cent each to his sisters Patricia Scifleet, Allison Scifleet, 58, Kathryn Scifleet, 56, and Sarah Anne Andersson, 49.
The draft will also proposes Mr Scifleet Snr's collection of 32 valuable artworks - including one titled "Emma" by Norman Lindsay worth an estimated $34,000 - to go to his wife Patricia, and if she dies first, to be split among their children.
The application will be heard on November 29.