Blackman Legal

Neville Wran $40 million estate: Son Glenn Wayne Wran takes Jill Hickson Wran to court for bigger share

The 68-year-old adopted son of former premier Neville Wran is taking his stepmother to court seeking a larger slice of the late Labor giant's multi-million dollar estate.

A day after Neville Wran's youngest daughter Harriet, 27, appeared in Central Local Court on a murder charge, his son Glenn Wayne Wran's case was heard in the NSW Supreme Court's family provision list.

The defendants are the estate's three executors and Glenn's stepmother Jill Hickson Wran. The executors are Glenn's 60-year-old half-sister Kim Wran Sheftell, Brian Dale and Nigel Stokes.

Glenn Wran was adopted by Neville Wran as an infant.                                

Neville Wran adopted the infant Glenn when he married his mother Marcia Oliver, a former showgirl, in 1946. The couple were married for 30 years and had their daughter Ms Wran Sheftell. She is married and lives in the US.

In 1976, at age 50, Wran married Jill Lesley Norton Hickson, 28, and they went on to have two children, Harriet and Hugo.

Wran, who was premier of NSW from 1976 to 1986, died in April last year aged 87 after suffering dementia. He left a fortune estimated to be worth up to $40 million, largely made up of an impressive property portfolio.

Jill Wran is a defendant with the executors of her late husband Neville's estate.                                 

In the NSW Supreme Court on Friday Justice Philip Hallen was told while Wran's notional estate is "very large" his actual estate is thought to be about $500,000.

Under NSW succession law, if an eligible claimant believes they have not been adequately provided for, their claim is no longer limited to the deceased's actual estate (assets which are held solely in their own name). It also takes into account the notional estate, which could include superannuation, family trusts and real estate held with a joint tenant.

The court 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.

Wran and Mrs Hickson Wran bought a home in Wallis Street, Woollahra, for $600,000 in 1987. It was listed for sale asking $3.65 million in 2011 but didn't sell. They also owned a 6.8-hectare rural property at Ravensdale on the Central Coast and a waterfront holiday house in Palm Beach bought for $6 million in 2009.

After leaving politics Neville Wran made a fortune as an investment banker with lucrative deals including the sale of OzEmail with former investment banker-turned-federal Liberal MP Malcolm Turnbull.

The court heard the claim extends to shareholding in a private company, which is yet to be valued.

Despite their wealth and high profile Neville Wran and Jill Hickson Wran had, at times, a turbulent home life. In 2011, Mrs Wran said she had been "frozen out" of her husband's personal affairs by his appointed guardians, Mr Turnbull, Ms Sheftell and his long-time business associate Albert Wong. Mr Wran moved out of the couple's Woollahra house and into Mr Wong's home. Mr Wran lashed out at his wife's suggestion he had a form of dementia.

The couple reconciled in late 2011 and he moved back into the family home and guardianship of his affairs returned to her. Mr Wran moved into Lulworth House nursing home in Potts Point months later where he remained until his death.

Harriet Wran is charged with the murder of Daniel McNulty during a botched drug deal in a housing commission unit in Redfern in August last year. The former private schoolgirl and her alleged boyfriend, Michael Lee, 35 and another man, Lloyd Haines are being held on remand and are due back in court on July 16. The confessed ice addict has indicated she will fight the murder charge and a charge of attempted murder over the severe injuries inflicted on another man at the unit.

In the will dispute, Justice Hallen suggested the parties attempt mediation. The matter returns to court on July 31.

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