Will Contest Results After a 22-year Estrangement

Australia’s legendary TV mogul Reg Grundy’s estranged daughter has stepped up her legal battle against his second wife, by claiming in court he was suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease when he chose to cut her out of his will…

61-year-old Kim Robin Grundy—more commonly known as Viola La Valette—is challenging her father’s widow, Joy Chambers-Grundy, for part of his $900 million estate. She’s bringing the action, even though she’d been estranged from Reg Grundy for 22 years.

The TV tycoon, who was responsible for Australian shows like Neighbours and Wheel of Fortune, died in May 2016 at the age of 92. He left the majority of his estate to his wife.  However, his daughter is now investigating his mental state and health before he died.

La Valette, who is Reg’s daughter from his first marriage to Patricia Lola Powell in 1954, appeared in court recently to formally contest the will.  Her attorney reportedly claimed that Grundy suffered from “Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive impairment” before he died.

It was previously reported that La Valette refused to see her father and cut off all contact with him for more than 20 years before he died, which left him heartbroken. His wife Chambers-Grundy said at the time that he had always supported his daughter and allowed her a glamorous lifestyle. Because of this, she never had to work and could live in luxurious hotels.

Alzheimer’s disease is one of more than 100 types of dementia. The disease presents differently in each individual. As a result, it’s difficult to definitely know when a person may lose his capacity to make important decisions.

The term “capacity” means that an individual has the ability to understand decisions about important personal matters, can voluntarily make those decisions and can communicate those decisions to others. Because of the unknowns with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, it’s crucial to make plans while a person still has capacity.

In many instances, a will may be contested on the grounds that the decedent didn’t have capacity at the time it was signed. This fact makes a will one of the most important pieces of financial and estate planning to address in the early stages of dementia.  In this case, it’s not known if Grundy had capacity or if he had Alzheimer’s Disease or any dementia at all.

Reference: Starts at 60 (August 6, 2018) “Reg Grundy’s daughter says he had Alzheimer’s when he cut her from will”


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