Brothers in dispute over £500,000 from father’s estate
The High Court has granted a special order enabling a man to take legal action against his brothers in a family dispute over their father’s will.
The case involved Satbir Singh Dhillon and his brothers, who were executors and trustees of the will.
Dhillon sought a declaration that £532,875 had been removed from the father’s accounts during and after his lifetime by one of the brothers and his wife.
He said that the money had been procured by undue influence and in one instance by forging his own signature on an investment-withdrawal form.
He applied to the court for a Beddoe order, which would enable him to recover his costs from the estate if they could not be recovered from the brother and his wife.
The court granted the application.
It held that the merits of the undue influence claim were sufficiently strong to make it appropriate for the court to fashion a way in which it could, subject to safeguards and limitations, be brought by Dhillon on behalf of the estate.
The main practical purpose of granting permission to bring the claim was to enable Dhillon to recover his costs from the estate if they could not be recovered from the brother and his wife. An order to that effect would be made but on the proviso that it was to be subject to any order made by the trial judge.
Please contact Benedict Smith if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of wills and probate.