A 50-word letter was enough to gift a Sydney celebrity wedding planner the property of her grandfather with dementia with a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean.
The only catch? The piece of paper was a forgery, according to a damning series of court rulings.
A bitter family battle over the fortune of top radiologist Dr. Alan Grant was exposed this month in an appeals court decision.
On the one hand were Dr. Grant’s daughter Nerez Grant and granddaughter, Kashaya Williams, who runs the wedding business Kashaya & Co, a favorite of well-known Sydneysiders.
Kashaya’s company has contributed to the events of big-name couples such as AFL stars Kieran Jack and Charlotte Goodlet, and Bachelor Tim Robards and Anna Heinrich.
On the other side of the long-running feud were Nerez’s younger siblings, acclaimed neuroscientist Professor Seth Grant and sister Tansin.
They demanded that the mother and daughter transfer the $900,000 NSW Central Coast property of Dr. Grant to Kashaya would be set aside.
Celebrity wedding planner and florist Kashaya Williams (pictured with husband Evan) has been ordered to return a $900,000 home transferred from her grandfather’s estate
Kashaya received the Killcare Home (above) after her mother received a letter from Dr. Alan Grant, asking to give her his belongings ‘please’
The Killcare, NSW Central Coast property has stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and is tucked away in bushland
This is the letter Kashaya’s mother Nerez Grant claimed to have received from her father, radiologist Dr. Alan Grant, in 2016. The signature was forged, a court ruled. (Digital mock-up above)
The NSW Supreme Court heard that Nerez claimed five years ago that Dr. Grant had handed her a letter about the Killcare Home.
The April 11, 2016 letter reportedly read: “Dear Nerez, I want to give the Killcare house to Kashaya.
“I want you to live there for the rest of your life. I’ll give you a lifetime lease. I will pay the transfer. Transfer the accommodation to Kashaya.
“Thank you for taking care of me.”
The letter was typed except for the last word – the name of Dr. Grant, signed with Alan, according to the court’s verdict.
Nerez, who at the time held power of attorney over Dr. Grant, transferred ownership to her daughter and paid the stamp duty.
I want to give Killare’s house to Kashaya… I will pay the transfer. Transfer the accommodation to Kashaya
But Judge John Slattery accepted evidence from a handwriting expert last year that Alan’s signature had been forged.
The son of Dr. Grant, Seth, called the evidence from analyst Melanie Holt, who said the signature appeared to have been copied from another document.
“The handwritten name … is not natural script,” noted Mrs. Holt. The signature was identical to a previous signature of Dr. Grant from years before, she said.
The judge accepted evidence that the signature was photocopied from another document and the letter was fabricated.
Justice Slattery later ruled that Kashaya had obtained the property in an “unfair and fraudulent scheme” involving her and her mother.
“They must have known that this deception by Dr. Grant was because they took his last property and put him in a helpless position,” the judge said in his decision.
However, in the follow-up ruling, the judge noted that “someone from Nerez Grant or Kashaya Williams must have been responsible” for the forged letter, the court has not found who was responsible.
In its decision, the judge said that Nerez Grant and daughter Kashaya (right) “must have known that this was a fraud by Dr. Grant’. Kashaya and her mother lost an appeal this month
Clients: Kashaya was the wedding florist for AFL star Kieren Jack (right) and the wife of TV reporter Charlotte Goodlet (left). They are pictured with fellow TV reporter Julie Snook (far left) and actor partner Hugo Johnstone-Burt (far right) on their special day
Kashaya & Co recently hosted this gender reveal party for bachelor couple Anna Heinrich and Tim Robards (above)
dr. Grant and his late wife Gwynneth were described as a gifted couple – he practiced medicine and she played the violin with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
They built up a multi-million dollar fortune from which the family members had benefited lavishly.
However, the clan was left “deeply scarred” by ongoing feuds that continued even after Ms Grant died in 2017 and Dr Grant in 2019.
Last year, Justice Slattery ordered that the ownership of Killcare be transferred to Seth Grant, as manager of his estate.
But Mrs. Williams and Nerez Grant appealed. They argued that the judge had not considered “expert reports” to support their case.
A panel of judges rejected that appeal this month, ruling that they had not identified expert reports or refuted the handwriting expert’s testimony.
The appeal was dismissed and Nerez and Kashaya were sentenced to pay Professor Grant and Tansin’s costs.
A further appeal under family law provisions was either heard by the trial judge or irrelevant, the jury found.
Daily Mail Australia approached Kashaya Williams, who did not attend the appeal hearing, for comment on Tuesday.