Richie Benaud will always be remembered for his unique voice, dedication to producing high-quality cricket commentary and his skill on the field. His death, in April 2015, was a sad time for all Australians and then-Prime Minister Tony Abbott even offered a state funeral.
While it was declined, the gesture shows how highly regarded the former Australian test captain was in the local community.
However, it seems that no matter celebrity status, a death in the family can lead to a court case with Richie Benaud’s ex-wife Marcia contesting his will in the NSW Supreme Court.
Who is contesting the will?
In 1953, Richie Benaud married Marcia Lavender. The marriage lasted 14 years and produced two sons – Greg and Jeffery. After divorcing his first wife in 1967, Benaud married second wife Daphne Surfleet.
The pair remained together until Benaud’s death in April, but the couple didn’t have any further children.
The case for the contested will was sparked a month after his death. In Greg’s opinion, the will did not provide adequate provision for his mother Marcia, The Daily Telegraph reported in an October 3 article.
Richie Benaud didn’t talk to his ex-wife Marcia for 20 years and she wasn’t invited to the funeral. However, in the 1970s, it is reported that Marcia did take Benaud to court over insufficient support payments for his sons.
It is important to note that only Marcia is taking the case to the NSW Supreme Court, supported by son Greg.
He told The Daily Telegraph that she has a strong case to contest the will.
“[The] law says if you’re a former spouse you’ve got to be provided for or mentioned in the will so mum wasn’t. So by Australian law she has got to put in the claim to satisfy the authorities,” he said.
“It’s not a case of going after dad’s money or anything. It is distressing. It is going to be over pretty quickly The family know mum has got to make a claim, (it) doesn’t mean she is entitled, (it) doesn’t mean she is not entitled. That’s up to the court.”
What is at stake?
According to the ABC, the base of the challenge is formed around property. In an October 2 article, it was reported that the Marcia and Richie owned multiple properties in Coogee and France worth millions of dollars.
With the matter set to head back to Court in December, it appears this case is far from completed.