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Christian campaigner loses court battle over his mother’s will

Posted: 21st May 2019   In: Dispute Resolution, Wills, Trusts and Probate

The leader of the political group, the Christian People’s Alliance, has lost a court battle with his sister over their mother’s will.

Sidney Cordle gained national prominence in 2014 while campaigning against same-sex marriage. He also stood for Parliament for Hitchin and Harpenden but failed to get elected.

Mr Cordle’s mother Peggy died in 2016 at the age of 93, leaving a house worth £300,000 and £60,000 in cash. In her will, she left the house to her daughter, Rosemary Foss, who had cared for her towards the end of her life. The cash was shared between brother and sister, with Mr Cordle receiving £40,000 and Mrs Foss receiving £20,000.

Mr Cordle alleged that his sister had manipulated their mother and used her money for her own benefit. He also alleged that she had made a “positive and deliberate attempt” to turn their mother against him.

He applied to have her removed as joint executor of the will, claiming that she was not fit for the role and that the administration of his mother’s estate had come to a standstill.

The court heard evidence that Mrs Cordle had been frail in her later years and secretive about her money, but her doctor had confirmed that she was “still capable of managing her own affairs”.

The court ruled against Mr Cordle. Judge John Hand, QC, said: “His complaint was that he suspected his sister had taken to controlling their late mother’s financial affairs and had used her money for her own benefit. He says his sister has always been motivated by a determination to reduce the amount of money in the estate to which he might be entitled.

“There is absolutely no realistic basis for suggesting that she misconducted herself in respect of these matters.”

Speaking of the relationship between Mrs Cordle and Mrs Foss, Judge Hand said: “Both of them had a strong religious faith and relied on God to guide the decisions they made on a daily basis. But nothing that Rosemary did comes anywhere near to amounting to undue influence.”

Please contact Benedict Smith if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of wills and probate.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Benedict Smith
Dispute Resolution
Luton Office