Carolyn Joy Chambers-Grundy, widow of deceased Australian TV magnate Reg Grundy, has been ordered by the New South Wales Supreme Court to produce the medical records of her late husband. This comes after Reg Grundy’s estranged only child, Viola La Valette, called into question the legitimacy of her father’s Will.
Background of the case
La Valette took her case to court after the death of her father, challenging his Will. She was originally left annual payments of $250,000, despite having not spoken to her father since the late 1990s.
However, La Valette, noting that she believes her father suffered from Alzheimer’s, challenged the Will regarding Grundy’s significant estate of $871 million – the majority of which went to his widow. Grundy’s daughter claimed in court that Chambers-Grundy persuaded her ill father to cut her out of his Will. In response, a judge ruled that the widow must produce medical records.
Chambers-Grundy alleged that Grundy didn’t exhibit signs of dementia until the end, and said that his Will was finalised far before then.
What happens next?
If Grundy’s Will is found to be illegitimate, there is a chance that he might have an older version of a Will that could be used instead of the presumed original. Otherwise, he may be considered to have died intestate – that is, without a Will. In that case, under the laws of New South Wales, an Administrator would be appointed by the court to properly distribute his estate. Assets would likely be divided between Chambers-Grundy and La Valette, although Chambers-Grundy’s eligibility may be called into question if she were found guilty of coercing her late husband into signing a compromised Will.
If there is no evidence of any persuasion by the widow, that doesn’t necessarily mean La Valette’s case is over. Although the 12-month time limit for contesting a Will has passed, as Grundy died in 2016, there may be cause for an exception to be made, as there have been other court cases concerning this Will. La Valette may want to consider contesting the Will if a sufficient cause extension is ultimately allowed, based on the size of her father’s estate.
All of this, of course, would have been easier if La Valette and Grundy had had a good relationship. Although his daughter is being provided for annually, Grundy did leave behind a very sizeable estate and there may be grounds for argument.
If you need help with your Will dispute claim, don’t hesitate to get in contact with Gerard Malouf and Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers today.