Good job, ratbag bankrupt loses his inheritance to his creditors

A ratbag bankrupt, who has been fighting to keep his inheritance has lost his court case and the creditors will now get paid as a result of the Official Assignee doing their job for once.

A man whose parents died in a car crash has lost his fight to keep his inheritance out of the pockets of his creditors.

Warren Sutton lost his appeal in the High Court to redirect his inheritance to his children. He was an undischarged bankrupt at the time of his father’s death.

The inheritance was that of prominent Taranaki couple Ern and Nancy Sutton, both 83, who were killed in May 2012 when their car was crushed by metal pipes which fell from a truck on State Highway 3 near Motunui.

The estate was to be divided between the Suttons’ three living children, one of whom was property developer Richard Warren Sutton, known as Warren Sutton.

Warren Sutton was described in court documents as “a businessman who has experienced highs and lows.”   

From 1998 to 2001, affidavits showed Sutton was at risk of being made bankrupt after a failed investment, trade debts and secured borrowings for which he had given personal guarantees.

During this time Sutton discussed with his father about the possibility his share of the estate would pass directly to his children, not himself.

When Sutton was officially adjudged bankrupt, in July 2010, he claimed to have spoken with his father, who had indicated the grandchildren would be substituted for the inheritance should he die.

Despite changes made to Ern Sutton’s will in 2001 and 2003, the Public Trust employee responsible said the new wording simply reflected a change in the standard wording used by the Public trust.

Judge Simon France declined the siblings’ appeal that the terms of the will were contrary to the testator’s instructions and ordered costs payable to the Official Assignee.

Good job…this is as it should be.

All too often ratbag bankrupts mislead the OA, hide assets, lie, cover up and, when all that fails, threaten legal action.

This time the creditors will be the beneficiaries, not a ratbag bankrupt.


– Fairfax

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