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Brothers win fight to get their full inheritance

Posted: 28th August 2013   In: Wills, Trusts and Probate

Two brothers have won a legal battle to receive their full inheritance from their mother’s will.

The case involved a family dispute between the brothers and their sister.

Their mother had made a will leaving substantial sums to all her three children. However, before she died she transferred a large amount of her money to her daughter and son-in-law so they could buy a property.

The property was in the daughter and son-in-law’s names. The mother lived there with them in the weeks before she died. The transaction amounted to more than 90% of the mother’s estate which meant there was very little left for the sons.

The men brought the case to court claiming their sister had exerted undue influence over their mother causing them to lose out on their inheritance.

The court heard that the mother had become dependent on the daughter who did more for her than her sons did. The daughter denied that she had poisoned her mother’s mind against the sons.

However, because of the nature and timing of the transactions, the court held that it was the daughter’s duty to prove there had been no undue influence. The daughter failed to do this or to explain why the mother hadn’t sought independent advice, or why the property wasn’t in her mother’s name.

The court wasn’t satisfied that the mother had acted independently when making the transaction. She hadn’t updated her will and there was no evidence that she had intended to reduce her sons’ inheritance.

The court ruled that the daughter and son-in-law must provide the brothers with their share of the estate as outlined in the will.

Please contact Nigel Gibson-Birch or Josie Birnie about the issues raised in this article or any matter relating to wills and probate.

Posted by: Nigel Gibson-Birch
Private Client
Luton Office