Disinherited sons fail to overturn their father’s Will

A man’s Will leaving most of his estate to his daughter and sister-in-law has been upheld despite opposition from his sons who had been disinherited.

The court heard that the man had originally made a Will which benefited both his daughter and his sons.
However, following a family dispute involving the sons and the daughter, the situation changed. The father wrote to both his sons telling them he was upset by the situation and asked them to engage in mediation with their sister.

The dispute was not resolved so the father made a second Will that favoured his daughter and his sister-in-law. At the time of his second Will, he had begun to suffer from bouts of confusion. However, the solicitor’s notes said that he had been coherent enough to understand what he was doing.

This opinion was backed up by medical professionals who said the man had testamentary capacity – that is, he was capable of making decisions for himself and was aware of the consequences of those decisions.

The brothers opposed the second Will and claimed that there hadn’t been an adequate explanation as to why their father would disinherit them. They said that their sister had put pressure on her father by putting letters in front of him to sign.

The court held that the sons failed to prove that their sister had poisoned their father’s mind against them. There was also no evidence to support their claims that their father was suffering any delusion when he made the second Will.

It was evident that he had intended to exclude his sons from the Will.

Please contact Michelle Stopford in our Warminster office on 01985 214444 or Sarah Gratton in Westbury on 01373 865577, or email mstopford@mulaw.co.uk or sgratton@mulaw.co.uk if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of Wills and probate.