peter brock’s estate
Just because you are famous doesn’t mean you don’t need a will.
Peter Brock the “King of Mount Panorama” probably bought more fast motor cars for lawyers than was his intention when he died in 2006.
He had two children by his long-time de facto marriage to Beverly Brock. She also had a child James who was from her previous marriage and who was part of the family. At the time of his death he was living with Julie Bamford. His efforts at making wills were only fair.
He had made a will in 1984 in which he made provisions for Beverley his de facto wife including the right to live in his house together with residuary gifts to his children.
By 2003 he was involved with Julie Bamford and he started a do it yourself will kit at the insistence of his former de facto wife Beverley. Brock completed the will so far as he was appointed an executor and covered his funeral wishes. He told Beverley to fill in the rest of the will but she did not do this so the will was largely ineffective.
In 2006 Mr Brock brought a new do it yourself will kit to the office and asked his personal assistant to complete it as he dictated it. His PA said it was complicated and should be done by a lawyer. This will was never signed.
In 2006 Mr Brock was killed while racing in Tasmania. The 2003 will was declared valid so far as appointing an executor was concerned but as it did not otherwise mention his assets this meant that they had to be dealt with under the rules relating to intestacy.
This meant that his two children Robert and Alexandra would share the estate. They indicated to the court that James should be included. Julie Bamford contested the estate and this was settled out of court.
Huge amounts of money were spent on legal fees resolving the matter and most of that could have been avoided had Mr Brock seen a lawyer and got timely and good advice about the distribution of the estate. The money does not measure the amount of stress and unpleasantness that come with any form of litigation.