The Melbourne Cup: “Not only is it the race that stops a nation but it stops the proceedings of the court”

A bitter estate dispute is playing out in the New South Wales Supreme Court over Bart Cummings multimillion dollar estate.

Legendary horse trainer Bart Cummings died in August last year at age 87. Mr Cummings gained the nickname “the Cup’s King” after he won the Melbourne Cup a record 12 times. At last year’s Melbourne Cup there was a fitting memorial and dedication to the Cup King.

However, unfortunately this year, on the eve of the Melbourne Cup Mr Cummings name is again in the news for all the wrong reasons with a family dispute over his million dollar estate.

Two proceedings have been started in the New South Wales Supreme Court challenging Mr Cummings’ Will and the division of the Cummings assets, worth millions of dollars. One proceeding has been started by his daughter Sharon Robinson together with his daughter Anne-Marie who is representing the interests of their sick elderly mother and Bart’s widow, Valmae. Valmae was married to Bart for over 60 years. The other proceedings has been started by his son Anthony and another of his sisters, Margaret.

The executor of Mr Cummings’ estate is Mr Aaron Ross Randell, a partner at accountancy and financial planning firm Emerson Randell Young.

Anthea Kennedy, the lawyer representing Sharon Robinson and Anne-Marie Casey on behalf of their Mother Valmae Cummings, was attempting to have the case heard as soon as next month.

But Anthony Cummings’ lawyer, Michael Jaloussis, said he wouldn’t be available because of “distractions in Victoria” with the Racing Spring Carnival.

Just Francois Kunc said “Not only is it the race that stops a nation but it stops the proceedings of the court.” Justice Kunc adjourned the matter until February 3 pending the outcome of mediation.

Anthony Cummings has reportedly told the Media that he is an innocent bystander and simply wants to divide the estate according to his father’s wishes but his sisters are disputing the will.

This unfortunate dispute illustrates that there is no person whose estate is exempt from estate litigation. Therefore it is important to get appropriate legal advice when you are preparing your Will and to talk to your family about your wishes if you were to pass away to attempt to minimise any estate disputes and litigation.

How we can help

Should you require any assistance in relation to wills or estate disputes, please contact our Wills & Estates Solicitor, Jenna Hutchinson on 13 43 63 or get in touch via our online enquiry form. Alternatively, you can visit us at any of our Queensland offices are in Brisbane, Logan, North Lakes, Ipswich, Toowoomba, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Cairns.