Brother begins fight for Annie’s estate
The brother of alleged disability neglect victim Annie Smith is taking a fight for a part of her $850,000 estate to the Supreme Court.
The civil claim by the brother - who asked only to be identified as Mr Smith to protect his family from public backlash - has put a halt to the distribution of Ms Smith's estate, including $850,000 from the sale of her Kensington Park property.
The property was purpose-built for Ms Smith, known as Annie, by her parents, and was where she lived before her death in April last year.
Lands Services SA documents showed it sold for $850,000 last month.
The civil court action by Mr Smith is against Michael John Victory, one of two executors of Ms Smith's will.
It begins on Wednesday with a directions hearing. Court documents show Mr Smith will argue he made financial contributions to the maintenance, education, and advancement of his sister's life.
Mr Smith is not a beneficiary of Ms Smith's will.
He did not wish to comment on the civil action.
A solicitor for Mr Victory also said he did not wish to comment at the moment.
Mr Smith is Ms Smith's sole surviving immediate family member. Last year, Mr Smith said his relationship with his sister had always been strained, but worsened after their parents' deaths, 13 weeks apart, in 2009.
Ms Smith, a 54-year-old cerebral palsy sufferer, died of severe septic shock, multi-organ failure, severe pressure sores and malnutrition in what police described as "disgusting and degrading" conditions.
Her death sparked a major police investigation. In August, Rosemary Maione, Ms Smith's carer for several years, was charged with manslaughter.
Maione's case is listed for mention in the Adelaide Magistrates Court on Thursday.
Ms Smith's paternal uncle, Glenn Smith, said his deceased brother and sister-in-law built the Kensington Park home for their daughter so she could live comfortably in their absence.
It was understood that should anything happen to Ms Smith, the house would remain within the family. He questioned how the probate of his niece's will and sale of her estate could proceed while there was an active police investigating and coronial inquiry to come. In her final will, signed in December 2013, Ms Smith bequeathed small cash amounts to two former carers and a friend, and the remainder of her estate to Mr Victory.
There is no suggestion that the executors, or the beneficiaries of the will, acted improperly or inappropriately.
Originally published as Brother begins fight for Annie's estate