If you want your wishes to be carried out according to your Will then seek legal advice so, should it be challenged, the High Court who will examine its contents closely are sure you had thought through all the implications. The following case highlights this where a father did not leave any of his £3 million estate to his son.
The estate was left in total to the farmer’s two daughters and widow on his death at 81. The son challenged the Will’s validity on the basis that the farmer did not have the mental capacity to understand the implications of his decision. He claimed that his father had given him a promise of inheriting the farm on his death in recognition of the 35 years he had worked for the family business.
Before his father died he had given the son £200,000 which represented a share in a haulage firm, along with some premium land. The farmer realised that he should redress the balance in favour of his daughters and considered that his Will enabled him to do so. Towards the end of his life the farmer did suffer some problems with losing his memory and becoming confused but the Court did not believe this made him incapable of making a valid Will.
The farmer had paid his son at the appropriate rate for his work, but the son still believed his father had told him that he would inherit the farm. The Court was unable to ascertain that a binding agreement had been given and therefore rejected his claim. The farmer had ensured a lawyer hadmade his Will correctly to ensure his wishes were adhered to.
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