Wild claims in court as step-kid and sister fight over legend's money…
The Gold Coast photographer Marty Tullemans, who was as much a part of surf history as the iconic photographs he took but who suffered from bi-polar disorder and, later, dementia, died of kidney failure a little over one year ago.
And ol Marty, who was pretty canny with his money, left a total of 625k, which included $379,000 in cash.
A will from 2013 shared his estate equally between his ex-partner’s four kids, including his step-daughter Tamar Tane, and nothing to his sister, Maria Shaw.
Now, his sister claims she found an envelope, marked “Powderkeg”, after he went into a nursing home that contained an updated version of his will, this time leaving most of his fortune to her.
The step-daughter, Tamar Tane, is challenging Maria’s application and has filed a counterclaim.
Tane’s lawyer alleges there are “suspicious circumstances” surrounding the signing of the will.
In a court doc, Maria says she and her husband found a safe containing the updated will, dated October 18, 2019, in Marty’s Kirra Beach Caravan Park cabin.
Maria said the will had been witnessed by her dad Petrus Tullemans and Marty’s pal and neighbour of thirty years, Deborah Phillips.
Shaw’s son, David, said his Uncle Marty asked him to fill in a will form and then dictated his wishes and then watched as Marty signed the form in front of his grandfather Petrus and neighbour Deborah.
Marty, says David, told him to keep the will confidential, telling his nephew, “I have put the will in an envelope which has ‘Powderkeg’ written on it and put it in my safe”.
The “Powderkeg” will left fifty k to Tamar Tane to divide with her siblings however she wanted, fifty k to Marty’s bro Frank and the rest to Maria.
And here comes a new twist.
Deborah Phillips, whose signature is allegedly on “Powderkeg”, has signed a stat dec saying she didn’t see or witness Marty or his Dad signing it.
In November 2020, Deborah says Maria invited her for dinner and said, “I need you to sign a document for Martin” which she says she refused.
Maria denies asking Deborah to sign the will.
The judge, meanwhile, has ordered Maria to reveal text messages between her and Deborah and to surrender all of Marty’s phones and computers.
More as this dirty little episode unfurls.