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Woman awarded £1.2m from father’s estate despite family fall-out

Posted: 16th July 2019   In: Dispute Resolution, Wills, Trusts and Probate

A woman has been awarded £1.2m despite being written out of her father’s will after they fell out in the later years of his life.

The judge found that the woman was entitled to the sum because she had worked on the family farm for 30 years on the understanding that she would inherit it.

Lucy Ann Andrews worked alongside her father for many years. She claimed he had told her that she would take over the dairy unit when he retired and inherit the entire farm when both he and his wife had died.

In 2008, Andrews declined an offer to run the farm in partnership with her parents, and five years later she left the business after a dispute with her sister. The father died a year later, and left the farm to the sister, who closed the dairy unit.

Andrews made a claim that the farm should be transferred to her in 2016 on the basis that she had worked for several years on that understanding.

Her sister argued that by declining the offer to partner with her parents, Andrews had indicated to their father that the long-time understanding was no longer in place.

The judge awarded Andrews £1.2m, around half the value of the farm. This would be enough to acquire a viable dairy unit and associated land to run her own business.

The fact that she had declined the opportunity to go into partnership with her parents was not a reason for her to forfeit her expected inheritance.

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

Posted by: Benedict Smith
Dispute Resolution
Luton Office