Brothers go to court over late mother’s Will
Two brothers are engaged in a bitter court battle over their late mother’s Will, it has emerged.
According to the Yorkshire Evening Post, Lena Hirst died of Alzheimer’s in 2005 and her Will originally stated that her estate should be split equally between her sons Harry and Barry.
However, it emerged when the document was read out that it had been changed in 2002, leaving Barry with nothing and Harry with the majority, including £100,000 to put into his business.
Barry has now taken legal action in a bid to prove that his mother was coerced into changing her Will by Harry while she was suffering from dementia and could not look after herself.
He insists she would have wanted the money to go into a trust for both of her sons if she was in her right mind.
Meanwhile, Harry is launching a counter-claim, alleging that Barry stole £150,000 for himself from a safe deposit box.
Another hearing is to take place in April to decide the outcome of the case.
In 2010, a family successfully had the joint Wills of two elderly sisters overturned after it was found they had left all their assets to their hairdresser.
Robert Chalmers, a Wealth Managment partner in Ashtons Legal’s Norwich office, comments: “People often wish to avoid what they see as the expense of involving solicitors in making their Wills and go the ‘DIY’ route. All too often this turns out to be a false economy, with a lot more of the family money being spent sorting out problems after someone’s death than they would have spent taking legal advice at the outset.
“As solicitors we are well-placed to identify issues of capacity and undue influence and can often assist in acting effectively as independent umpire between potentially conflicting family interests. The golden rule is that any potentially controversial issues are always better sorted out during someone’s lifetime than after their death. This is a point being illustrated quite effectively by the documentary series ‘You Can’t Take It With You’, which is currently running on BBC2 on Friday evenings.”
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