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War veteran Norman Maddock lacked mental capacity to change will and give fortune to hairdresser Marcia Reynolds

In a tribute to Maddock after his loss of life in 2020, The Greek Herald advised of Maddock serving in a particular navy division of the Australian Imperial Forces, which was “significantly famous for his or her service and sacrifice on the Island of Crete in 1941”.

“Norm was concerned in a sequence of actions aimed toward delaying the German advance, in addition to in rearguard positions that enabled the profitable withdrawal of hundreds of allied troops,” the paper wrote.

Stuart Watson and Norm Maddock in 2011 with the veterans affairs minister of the day, Warren Snowdon.

Stuart Watson and Norm Maddock in 2011 with the veterans affairs minister of the day, Warren Snowdon.Credit score:Corporal Janine Fabre, 1st Joint Public Affairs Unit, ADF.

“Norm managed to achieve the port of Kalamata within the southern Peloponnese and was evacuated on the Costa Rica. He fought in Georgioupolis, Chania and the Battle of forty second Road. Norm was captured in Crete however escaped and reached the North African coast by sea.”

The Cretan Federation of Australia and New Zealand equally paid tribute to Maddock after his loss of life, issuing a press release saying he and his former comrades would without end be remembered for his or her service and sacrifice on Crete in 1941. He was the final surviving Victorian veteran of the Battle of Crete.

After the struggle, Maddock joined the Rail, Tram and Bus Union, serving as delegate, president and assistant secretary throughout 41 years. He was awarded an Order of Australia in 2007 for providers to Victoria’s tramways.

In his later years, nevertheless, Maddock’s well being suffered. By 2020, Justice McMillan discovered, Maddock’s litany of diseases included kind 2 diabetes mellitus, atrial fibrillation, ischaemic coronary heart illness, osteoarthritis, gastro-oesophageal reflux illness, power renal failure, congestive coronary heart failure and a latest stroke. His medical information confirmed he had been recognized as affected by paranoid ideation, cognitive difficulties and low temper in late 2018.

Maddock told his solicitor, Tony Naughton of Moreley Naughton Pearn and Cook, he considered Reynolds to be like a daughter.

Naughton gave evidence to the Supreme Court that Maddock was a “difficult and troubled man”, and that he repeatedly warned his client that his intended changes to his will could be challenged by his wife Shirley – who was in aged care suffering dementia – and his adult children.

“Mr Naughton described the deceased as a very tenacious person who became angry if he did not get his own way,” Justice McMillan found.

While Naughton determined Maddock had the “testamentary” or mental capacity to change his will, he judge found the solicitor failed to adequately address the reasons for drawing that conclusion.

Battle of Crete veteran Norman Maddock.

Battle of Crete veteran Norman Maddock.Credit:Cretan Federation of Australia and New Zealand/Facebook

“Nor did [Naughton] obtain any information concerning [Norman Maddock’s] significant health issues given that he was aware of the deceased’s age and strong personality, the financial position of [Mrs Maddock] and the deceased’s heavy recent reliance on [Marcia Reynolds],” Justice McMillan reported.

Maddock’s 2018 will appointed three executors, including Reynolds. That will left $25,000 to each of the executors, $180,000 to various charities and $600,000 to his wife, Of the remaining amount, 20 per cent would go to his son, 20 per cent to his stepdaughter, and 60 per cent to the Royal Children’s Hospital.

Justice McMillan heard evidence Maddock’s estate was worth $3.5 million.

A year later, Maddock had Naughton change his will again; this time appointing Reynolds as sole executor, bequeathing her $75,000 and cutting the amount left to his wife from $600,000 to $300,000. Naughton and Reynolds witnessed Maddock signing the new will.

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Three months later, in January 2020, Maddock changed his will yet again. This time, he also left the Bentleigh East family home to Reynolds, valued between $1 million and $1.2 million, and added a clause stating Shirley Maddock – who died in May this year – had “advanced dementia and [had] very ample and sufficient monies for her needs”.

Shirley Maddock, through her administrator Australian Unity Trustees Limited, and the couple’s two children, filed challenges to the will changes in December 2020, while Marcia Reynolds sought a grant of probate to the final will.

This week, Justice McMillan dismissed Reynolds’ application for probate, finding Norman Maddock did not have the mental capacity to make the third and final changes to his will in January 2020. The parties have until next month to make submissions on costs.

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