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AU Fletcher Jones sisters in challenge over will

Property Here - Friday, April 26, 2013

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HEIRS of famed clothing designer Fletcher Jones are bickering over the carve-up of the family's $4 million fortune.

Anne Elisabeth Jones and Susan Janet Jones have joined forces in the Supreme Court to challenge their brother, David Fletcher Jones, the executor of the will and trustee of the estate of their father, David Fletcher Jones.

The sisters, who are also executors, claim that their philanthropist father's will makes inadequate provision for their proper maintenance and support.

David Jones, 76, died of cancer in hospital in December 2011, 10 weeks after losing his wife of 55 years, Isobel.

Just 36 hours after his death, the 93-year-old company he and his father had built into an Australian byword was in the hands of administrators.

The sisters' claim was lodged in the Supreme Court earlier this month, some 19 days after the family's multi-million dollar beachfront estate in the Victorian town of Port Fairy was sold for an undisclosed amount.

In June last year, members of the family announced they planned to sell the holiday home, which had been owned by David and Isobel, and give the proceeds to charity.

David Jones Jr said the culture of giving had been ingrained in his family since his grandfather, and selling the Port Fairy property was a continuation of this philanthropic legacy.

"My grandfather set up the FJ Foundation in the 1950s to contribute to the local community, and that inspired my parents to set up their own foundation to do something worthwhile with their financial legacy,'' Mr Jones said.

He said it was his parents' wish that he and his sisters distribute the funds, to encourage them to be charitable.

After the house was sold to an overseas buyer in March, the Moyne Gazette reported that the proceeds would set up a new chapter of the Jones Foundation and assist charities in the Port Fairy and Warrnambool areas.

A copy of the will seen by The Advertiser makes no mention of charitable donations. In the event he outlived his wife, Mr Jones left his personal effects and a family trust to be divided equally among his children.

The will lists his effects as the $2.4 million Port Fairy house, a $59,200 art collection, $34,800 in furniture and household effects, $30,609 in cash, a boat worth $15,000, and two cars valued at $13,500.

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