Former aged care nurse manager faces legal challenge to $1M she received in resident’s will

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A former nurse manager at Cambridge House, a 30-bed residential aged care facility operated by St Vincent’s Health Melbourne, is facing a legal challenge after she received a $1 million estate in the will of a resident.

Abha Anuradha Kumar was banned from being a registered health practitioner for five years in 2019 after she was found to have engaged in professional misconduct involving 92-year-old resident Lionel Cox.

She could now also lose the estate he bequeathed her after being served with a “summons for revocation” on 8 August, in a Supreme Court of Victoria action launched by Victorian Government Trustees.

State Trustees’ lawyers claim the will was not executed in compliance with legislation, in part because it was not signed by Mr Cox in the presence of both witnesses, according to court documents.

“At the time when the two staff members signed the will, the document was folded and the plaintiff (Ms Kumar) had her palm over the document so that staff members could not see the contents of the will,” it is alleged in court documents.

Ms Kumar is also accused of later telling one witness that Mr Cox had nephews in Ireland who had been named in the will, while telling the other witness that Mr Cox ripped up the will before his death, the court documents say.

Mr Cox died after a short battle with pneumonia on 9 August, 2015. Ms Kumar became the “informant” on his death certificate and obtained a grant of probate from the Supreme Court in November 2015.

Mr Cox’s former home in Fitzroy, Melbourne, sold for $1.1 million in 2016. She also received $36,277 in cash and personal items valued at $3,000, according to court documents.