Three siblings have secured a Supreme Court order stopping their sister from squandering some of the proceeds from the family home, which was sold for €665,000.

Jacqueline Byrne, Patricia Hyslop and Kathleen Kerrigan claim their sister Anne Grant Arnold fraudulently obtained title to the house in Casino Road, Marino, Dublin 3 by transferring the title into her name before her mother transferred it in June 2021 Anne’s British home died.

On Tuesday, the three sisters were granted an injunction by Judge Liam Kennedy preventing Anne from reducing her unencumbered equity in cash or other assets in this jurisdiction below €135,000 until the entire dispute between them is heard.

The judge also rejected a request from Anne to dismiss the case because it was baseless or filed too late.

The house originally belonged to her father, Patrick, who died intestate in 1990, meaning his five children, including a brother who is not involved in the litigation, were collectively entitled to a one-third share of the estate.

The other two-thirds went to her mother, Mary, who became the registered owner of the house after receiving approval to administer her husband’s estate in 1999.

In 2007 the house was transferred to the joint names of Mary and Anne, who now live in Hyde Tyning, The Knapp, Minchinhampton, Stroud, Gloucestershire. In a 2017 will, Mary expressed her wish that Anne would inherit the property.

Then, in August 2018, Mary transferred all ownership to Anne.

When the house came on the market following their mother’s death, the three sisters brought legal action against Anne, represented by senior counsel Andrew Walker and Liam Bell, instructed by Dermot McNamara & Co Solicitors.

The three claimed they had a fair interest in the property and that Anne had fraudulently obtained ownership of it.

Anne disputed the claims, claiming that her sisters signed disclaimers declaring they had no interest in their father’s estate before it was registered in their mother’s name.

The judge said the three sisters refused to sign liability waivers.

Her attorney brought in a handwriting expert who concluded it was likely Patricia did not sign, and it was very likely Kathleen did not either, he said. The expert was unable to reach a conclusion on Jacqueline’s exclusion of liability.

The judge said that although Anne later admitted that she had prepared all of the waivers for execution, an earlier affidavit that she had sworn gave the impression that they had been prepared by or at the instance of the attorney dealing with the estate and that he corresponded with the lawyer’s siblings to ensure their consent.

The judge said Anne had provided minimal detail about the circumstances surrounding the disclaimers.

Nor did she adequately explain her change in attitude when the handwriting expert submitted his report, or the failure of previous correspondence and affidavits to produce the late-submitted documents.

He said Anne did not explain her role in meetings or communications with the lawyer managing her father’s estate.

Although she had previously denied any involvement, she now admitted that she appeared to have written the disclaimers along the lines of the Post-it note, the judge said. She also did not explain why Jacqueline, who lived nearby, did not also attend the meetings with the lawyer managing the father’s estate.

In relation to a denial by Kathleen that she had “knowingly” executed a disclaimer, Anne had “belatedly voluntarily” stated that she had accompanied her mother to Derry to visit Kathleen and that she had been present when the disclaimer was executed was signed, he said.

The judge said she did not provide details of the meeting, including how and why it was arranged or how the document was explained to Kathleen. There was also no reference to independent legal advice.

The three sisters say the original transfer was fraudulent and affected subsequent transactions. They also say that they held their (three sisters’) respective shares in trust when their mother and later Anne became the registered owners.

The judge said he believed such a claim was “defensible given the current state of affairs.”

The sisters also believe that important facts only became known to them at different times between 2019 and 2021.

“In fact, the defendant’s controversial role in the disclaimers only came to light with these motions,” he said.

The three sisters did not claim recourse to the entire proceeds of 665,000 euros. The judge considered it sufficient to set an amount of 135,000 euros, below which the assets could not be reduced until the trial.

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *