The daughter of the late Supreme Court justice Tom Shepherdson is challenging his final will, claiming he had dementia when he made the document that left her only $5000.
Justice Shepherdson, who retired on a judicial pension in 2000, died in October aged 85.
His final will, signed in February 2010, left most of his estate to his third wife Shirley Shepherdson, and small bequests to his two daughters and two stepchildren. His first child, Elizabeth McCray, said she was very close to her father and was “shocked and saddened’’ by his will.
“My father, the late justice Tom Shepherdson, suffered from the progressively debilitating effects of dementia for many years before his death,’’ Mrs McCray toldThe Sunday Mail.
“He made a number of wills in the space of just one or two years before his final will, leaving his two daughters from his first and second marriages only $5000 each.
“This is significantly less than he had left us in earlier wills.
“For many years prior to his last will there had been events of serious concern that suggested he did not have capacity. Of course, that will be a matter for the courts to decide.’’
Justice Shepherdson left Mrs McCray, 51, and his daughter from his second marriage, Emma Gimon, 44, only $5000 each and two stepchildren $1000 each.
“I spoke to Dad almost every day. We had a very close relationship,’’ Mrs McCray said.
Shirley Shepherdson, who married the judge in 1989, applied to the Supreme Court for probate on his final will, as executor, in February.
But on January 25, Shand Taylor Lawyers, on behalf of Elizabeth McCray, filed a caveat against a grant of the estate.
The probate application cannot progress until completion of the caveat process.
The widow is entitled to receive 50 per cent of Justice Shepherdson’s judicial pension of more than $126,000 a year for life.
He and wife Shirley sold their Kangaroo Point three-bedroom unit for $1.63 million in 2013 and moved into a Yeronga retirement village.