Maree Crabtree was named as her uncle’s beneficiary a few months before he died.
Maree Crabtree was named as her uncle’s beneficiary a few months before he died.

Change to will benefited accused killer mum

A WOMAN accused of murdering her children for money inherited her uncle's valuable house just months after he changed his will, leaving it to her.

Maree Mavis Crabtree was last month charged with the murders of her adult children, who died five years apart.

Erin Crabtree was 18 when she was found dead in her bed in 2012 while the rest of her family were on an international cruise.

Five years later Jonathan Crabtree, 26, was found dead at the family's Gold Coast home of an apparent overdose.

Both deaths were initially treated as suicides.

Maree Mavis Crabtree with children Erin and Jonathan
Maree Mavis Crabtree with children Erin and Jonathan

Crabtree has also been charged with torturing another female relative over several years and causing her grievous bodily harm.

She also faces multiple fraud charges involving claiming, or attempting to claim, nearly $1 million in insurance payouts.

Police will allege she kept her children medicated so she could benefit from disability benefits.

Two of her children were fed through stomach tubes for a period of time while in her care.

Crabtree inherited her uncle's Sydney house after his death in December 1990.

The Courier-Mail obtained a copy of Milne Graham's last will and testament through the New South Wales Supreme Court archives.

The will was drawn up and lodged in March 1990, which was just months before Mr Graham's death.

It is understood Crabtree lived with her uncle at his Peakhurst home before he died.

She later lived there with her mother, who lived in a granny flat at the back of the property.

Crabtree's mother has also since died.

Crabtree was the main beneficiary of her retired uncle's estate.

Crabtree with son Jonathan
Crabtree with son Jonathan

Some of those close to the Crabtree family said Mr Graham died after a battle with cancer.

"I give, devise and bequeath my real property situated at ... Peakhurst, together with household chattels contained therein, to Maree Mavis Graham (Crabtree) absolutely," Mr Graham stated in his will.

Anything remaining was to be used to pay for Mr Graham's funeral before being split between four people, one a possible relative and three others living in Canada.

The Peakhurst house became Crabtree and her children's home for more than a decade.

In the early 2000s, she became embroiled in a financial dispute with a man who described himself as her ex-boyfriend.

While the dispute was under way, the house was destroyed by fire and then sold by Crabtree for $570,000.

She then moved her family to regional NSW before shifting again to the Gold Coast.

Her son and daughter died while living on the Gold Coast but detectives in Queensland have liaised with NSW police about the family's history in that state.

Maree Crabtree with daughter Erin
Maree Crabtree with daughter Erin